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"I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me." - Abraham Simpson, lamenting the changing times, in The Simpsons.

"I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me." - Abraham Simpson, lamenting the changing times, in The Simpsons.



Times are not only changing, but you could argue they are changing faster than ever. Advances in technology and changes in lifestyle have made this generation unrecognizable from those before it. Need proof? You're probably reading this is a newspaper - a social medium nearly unused by the latest generation. This new generation often doesn't even consume its news in a newspaper, magazine, or on television.


At first it may have been a slow transition; your children or grandchildren reference a celebrity or a trend you hadn't heard of, if you can even understand whatever the hell they are saying. Maybe the jokes of a late-night pundit or an award show host was lost on you. Losing touch with what is current is not a phenomenon restricted to seniors; I'm in my 30s, and at times I feel disconnected from those 10 years younger.


This, for what it's worth, cuts both ways. Ask a young person to mail - actually mail - a letter, and see if they have a firm concept of how stamps work (they won't). Ask them to play a "cassette tape" and watch the impending confusion (what do you mean you actually have to rewind the tape?). Or ask them to research something in the days of encyclopedias, not Wikipedias.



The purpose of this article - appearing monthly in Prime Times - will be to identify a new trend, fad, or anything "the kids are into nowadays," and explain it in layman's terms. Things like: what is tweeting, and why does the President do it? How do people watch television if they don't have cable? What's a Fitbit, and what's the point?


But most importantly, I'll try to take a positive look at what these new trends and ideas could mean for you. Often the technology available to this generation would be most useful to previous generations; it's just a matter of finding the right tools and learning how they work. I cannot tell you how many times I hear a podcast that would interest an older person I know, only to be thwarted by the technology and setup it would take to get them to listen.



I'll try to break down topic concisely, and avoid the usual condescending tone my generation has been known for. Next month's topic will be the changes to traditional industries - taxis and hotels. I recently took an international trip, and while I needed both transport and shelter, I did not step foot in a taxi or a hotel, at a fraction of the cost, and even less effort. What's even better - I received quicker, better service, and a superior product.

So you see, there's no need to be like Grandpa Simpson, living in fear of "whatever it is". Yes, there is a lot of stuff that might have been better "back in the day", but honestly - would you rather still live in the two-channel TV universe?

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