Thursday, June 18, 2009

News Outlet: Media-induced VS. Self-induced

As I was doing my daily commute to San Francisco from Walnut Creek on BART, I had finally found a seat beside an elderly man. I pulled out my Blackberry and plugged in my earphones so that I could listen to music off of the internet radio, Pandora. I also opened up my Blackberry application for the “Associated Press.”

While I was flipping through each label of news, I noticed my eyes wandering off to see what the gentleman next me was doing, as we all so commonly do. He was reading, “The Wall Street Journal,” in paper form.

I took a moment to laugh. It was a perfect visual aid that represented how much the media outlets have changed within a couple of decades. So I looked around, beyond the gentleman next to me, and noticed that, on average, each BART rider that was under the age of 50 was aggressively focused on their phones. While everyone that was over the age of 50 was pleasantly reading newspapers.

I began to understand why there is so much of a lack in communication amongst the age groups. I always hear the elderly complain about how “fast-paced” the younger generation moves. About how they drive like maniacs and talk so fast that one can barely make anything out of the “gibberish.” When the younger generation talks about the elderly, the exact opposite is mentioned; they complain that the elderly are too slow at everything.

Does the issue have to do with age, in the sense that physically we get older and cannot function as coherently as we used to? Or is the progression media-induced?
I pondered on these two questions that present very accurate debates, but I couldn’t decide on whether one was more of a culprit than the other.

As a society, we are naturally aging as a whole, whether we are part of the Baby Boomer’s, Gen-X’ers, or Gen-Y’ers. For example, we are not born in the same surroundings as our elderly. We have learned how to utilize a higher grade of technology because we were born into the movement. It was never an issue of adaptation; it was more of a “this is how we do things so learn it” concept.

Most of what I’ve learned has been through word-of-mouth. I listen a lot to my surroundings. Maybe that is the difference. The older that we get, the more we discover who we are and once we reach a certain age we are unwilling to change because we are certain of our opinions, beliefs, etc. As a 22-year-old, I find myself constantly changing my opinion because I am still learning about myself as well as the world.

I know that what I believe now, is not what I’m going to believe forever. So, as a result I adapt to new things all the time so that I can absorb as much opinion as possible and form a strong and educated base so that one day I will piece together my own innovative beliefs.

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