What is old and new generation

Generation conflict: Matthias Keck on the differences between young and old

So we boys may take some things a little too loosely. Making an appointment via WhatsApp is about as binding as saying "I'll call you again later". It's usually not a big deal among friends, but elsewhere we should reconsider our non-commitment. For example at school: How often have I had to justify myself to my teachers because I did not send the e-mail with the handout for my presentation in time. It was always due to the "can I do it later" mentality, which shapes us all at least a little. According to the psychologist Gabrielle Rütschi, this comes primarily through digital media, as she emphasized in an interview with SZ-Magazin: "The technologies of the virtual world make it easy for us to be non-binding." Nevertheless, even if it often turns out to be expensive for me in retrospect, ingenious planning usually seems unnecessary to me.

For the older generation, however, it is not at all unnecessary. Everything has to fit into an order. Everything has to be well thought out. That makes one or the other pretty rigid. For larger purchases, you have to sleep over it for one, maybe two to three nights before the decision is made. New TV or new cell phone? First, various offers are obtained and prices are compared. The initial favorite could have a few catches. Do your parents often take some things too seriously and worry unnecessarily?

When making decisions, mine not only like to listen to themselves, but also like to think a lot of other opinions. You respect professionals and authorities. On the other hand, we boys often doubt the existence of people who know more than we do. But older people are happy for them. However, this can also be dangerous. Namely, when this attitude is exploited. Last October, fraudsters got a lady from Witten in North Rhine-Westphalia to give them all of her savings. The reason of the crooks: The money would not be safe in their bank. The woman trusted the swindlers because they were disguised as police officers.

A little selfish

Most people our age would probably not fall for such a trick that easily. We want to make our own decisions and not leave them to anyone, including the police. We don't need several days to make a purchase, but seconds with a mouse click on the Internet. No salesman who could talk us into it, just our will. We feel mature and hate paternalism. While our parents' generation was silent, we discuss any point with teachers when we feel we have been unjustly graded. You can at least try to get everything for yourself. This is why we are often described as selfish. We are a bit too. But at least we get our mouths open.

Nevertheless, we have to keep hearing that there can't be much behind it. We are still completely without life experience, have no idea of ​​the tough reality. This is true. It is important that we listen to those who have already gathered more wisdom and are learning from them. For example, we could be more reliable. But that doesn't mean that we don't have something to offer that some experienced people can learn from. We are flexible and we say what we think and we stand by it. Mostly.

Not young and old

But are there "the old" and "the young" at all now? The way I have portrayed them here, by no means. Very few people over 50, for example, would give all their money to a cutthroat disguised as a police officer. And among us young people, values ​​that have long been branded as old-fashioned are back in high demand, as the new youth studies of the SINUS Institute show. As early as 2016, we were confirmed to have greater acceptance of discipline. According to the current publication from July this year, we are not only moved by the environment, but also ostensibly by a longing for things like security, support and security, as the Horizont-Magazin summarizes.

One of my aunts doesn't quite fit into the scheme either and is proof that you can't separate young and old. It is not always on time, but it is anything but rigid. It's the one whose birthday we celebrated over coffee. She says she doesn't care about age. Probably because she doesn't actually act the way age would tell her. Her little sister, my mother, therefore accuses her of being unreasonable. She always says that to me.

Sometimes there are only a few decades between people, while certain things are the same. The fear that there might be no understanding for one another between the generations is therefore unfounded. A certain distance from one another is likely to remain just natural, which makes a healthy exchange between old and young all the more important.