Thursday, October 11, 2007

"What’s that in your ear, Randell?"

I was browsing the local paper online when I came upon a column by a gal I know. And she's nice and well-meaning, so I hate to pick on her, but since I am from the older generation, I feel obligated to comment. She was describing a relaxing walk in the park with a friend, and how they kept passing joggers with iPods. "We agreed that we didn't quite "get" the need for noise that is a hallmark for the current generation of teens and twenty-somethings."

I keep hearing stuff like this about the iPod, and about the plugged-in, multi-tasky world of today's teen, and how they read or study while listening to their headphones. Does this mean they're more technologically in-tune? Or is it having a negative effect on their brain? Does this mean that they're solipsistic and isolated, or trying to distract themselves with constant noise?


Haven't these people ever heard of a Walkman? "Kids today" didn't invent listening to music while they do other things, for pete's sake, and they certainly didn't invent the headphone. Twenty years ago, I used to walk down by the river in this same town, and I never did it without my Walkman. My favorite park-walking music was X's Under the Big Black Sun and Siouxise and the Banshees' Kiss in the Dreamhouse, just to date myself.

Come to think of it, in elementary school I had an earpiece that fit the transistor radio and my Panasonic tape player...just like the one Riff Randell, Rock 'n' Roller, goes everywhere listening to in 1979's Rock 'n' Roll High School.

Nobody's going to convince me that there's such a drastic difference between people my age and kids today unless they stop using examples that just don't add up.

Besides, the whole Generation Gap is soooooooo 60s.

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