My new job has given me a lot of face time with patients, something I didn't have with my marketing position. It has opened my eyes to the stark differences between the millennial generation and the generations of before.
A good portion of our patients are geriatric, and they sincerely enjoy coming to the office. They tell stories of their youth, share family photos or ask how our families are doing. Sometimes they even bring us gifts! Bake goods, reusable grocery bags, books, etc. for them, it's about connecting. They like to feel they are more than just a paying patient. They'll linger and chit-chat for hours if you let them, sometimes it feels almost impossible to get them out the door! My generation (millennial's) on the other hand, they're always in a rush. They never seem to slow down. They come to the counter with their faces buried in their cell phones while their fingers do double time tapping out responses to text messages that sat unanswered for 45 minutes while they got their teeth cleaned. That living in the moment phrase, yeah, apparently my generation missed that whole memo...completely!
It's obvious that human connections have changed from tangible, physical get-togethers to virtual "likes" and comments. Of course, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make connecting with people outside of our regular social circle a lot more manageable, but they also limit the sincerity of the connections we do make. You can't read someone's facial expressions by reading a comment they left on Facebook or Twitter. Heck, you can't even hear the inflections in their voice. It's just not the same as connecting with someone face-to-face and in the flesh.
Maybe that's why "kids today" seem to have a hard time getting along with classmates. They spend too much time trying to gain followers on Instagram that they forgot how to make real-life connections with the kids and people around them. Instead, we try to cram everyone into one box. We're all supposed to look a certain way, act a certain way, and heaven forbids someone goes against the grain.
As helpful and amazing as technology is, I think it's beginning to cause a disconnect between people; parents are becoming lazy, students don't know how to socialize appropriately, and day to day life seems impossible with a computer, smartphone, or tablet.