The last ‘disconnected’ generation…

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We all like to think ‘our’ generation has something special about it, that there is a feeling of importance. And we’re right, there is. To each of us, that which we are experiencing is always most relevant. But there are certain particulars which define it, and it is the particulars of my own which I would like to address.

I don’t particularly like the word ‘millennial’ but it seems, apparently, that this is the term used for people of my age group and upbringing; from the 80s and 90s.

I was born in 1985. I can remember a time before CDs, before the internet, before mobile phones, before digital data. But during my youth I was subject to certain developments. It felt as though we were the test subjects for blossoming technologies, with many kids later going on to have successful careers in these various areas of expertise.

Knowing both what it was like before and after is an unusual position to be in. The presence of mobile phones, the internet, and digital formats in our society has made drastic changes to it. I can remember a simpler time, when people used to write letters; when you had to actually go round and knock on a friend’s door to see if they were coming out; when you had to flick through books and catalogues to gather information. And although I’ve been rather slow and reluctant to jump on board with all the new developments that have since come, I have had to get used to them and learn about their new designs.

The effect being in this position seems to have is that of nostalgia. Just look at the hipsters. Every creative endeavour is tainted with it. And there’s also some rebellion from the strain it all has on the mind. Things got a lot faster, and to someone who’s first years were spent in much calmer, slower times it is often hard to adjust, even after all the time that has passed. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, just that it’s a little strange, yet also somewhat pleasant at the same time.

When we tell our grandchildren about the 1990s it will seem so long ago- before the turn of the century. All those ye olde forms of communication. But I think that most of us will speak fondly of it, as we already do. It already feels so long ago, what with how fast things are moving. We are fortunate that we were young enough to get a grasp on the new technologies early on, and it is through these now commonplace forms of modern media that our nostalgia for a time once without them comes through…

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And why not check out my book, At Home in the Bushes, about a year I spent living in a tent, cycling & busking around Britain. It’s available HERE

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