What interesting conversations we had at the family gatherings which I attended this year. Once we caught up on family business we began to discuss various triumphs and challenges we faced throughout the course of the year.
I marveled at how some of the younger generations had some difficulty with face to face conversation. They seemed infatuated with their mobile devices. I suppose that for them a “like” in person is less preferable to a “like” on a post on a shared Social Media outlet. Those that were a bit older enjoyed the stories and visiting in person with family that lives far away.
The Thanksgiving gathering was enjoyable but brief for many. They seemed to “bundle” their holiday gatherings and left one for another in order to satisfy family ties. I can recall a time dating back just ten years ago; where this activity would have elicited objections from our more senior family members.
The Christmas family gathering was much more relaxed as the family members in attendance had much less distance to travel (less than 200 miles) in order to attend. The conversation was much more detailed as family members genuinely wanted to share in the significant events of the past year and our host was not much for social media outlets.
I found myself intently listening to how the varied generations communicated with each other and how one would try to share emphasis in a manner in which they were not fully accustomed to sharing. Surprisingly smartphones were rendered useless except for pulling up pictures to share and eye contact was back in style once again just like in the “old days.”
We laughed, enjoyed a home-made meal, and no one seemed to feel urgency to get to another destination even though it was Christmas day. There were plenty of smiles and hugs to go around whenever we broke up to go to our homes and settle in for the evening with happy memories and a fresh appreciation for our family.
I noted how the younger members of our family seemed unusually quiet and I noticed they were paying attention to the conversation around the room. As I reflected on the events of the day I realized that each generation had been impacted by what they had learned from their parents.
Generation Z has their antennae up all the time and have learned how to learn not only from their mobile devices but also how the fact check what they hear from their parents and grandparents.
Is it any wonder education is now scrambling about to fashion what they do to emphasize personal development?