Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think?
Summarising the discussion, I’ll start with the boomer’s view and the retort from the GenZ dad.
I grew up in a world where everything was controlled. Governments ran that world and big business did brown envelope deals with politicians to ensure that everything went their way. It was good times … OK, boomer!
These days, everything is becoming transparent, open, decentralised and censorship-resistant and yet, for all of that, the world seems more extreme and disillusioned than in the good old days … OK, boomer!
The problem is that everything is now real-time, global, connected, networked and, as a result, you can’t hide anything … OK, boomer!
But when I first started work everything was local, face-to-face, simple and based upon trust between me and you … OK, boomer!
When I was growing up, we went out on our own aged five and under, and played games with our friends. I remember falling off a plank in a new house build that was from the first floor – about three metres drop – and just shook it off. I got bit by a dog and had sweets off a stranger, but nothing weird ever happened to me. Perhaps I was lucky, but … OK, boomer!
These days, I look at the news and the kids and the world, and wonder what we’ve become. Everything is just a non-stop stream of negativity and the idea that children are being stalked by predators online and in real-time, all the time; the world is about to end because we screwed the planet; the threat of technology is going to make humans irrelevant; the fact that everything now needs to be desensitised, sanitised, woke and, if it’s not woke, we should cancel culture it … OK, BOOMER!
OK, I’ll shut up. Things are better. We are far more inclusive and everyone, everywhere, whoever they are and whatever they feel they are, can discuss their feelings and emotions .. OK, GenZ!
We no longer discriminate the way we used to. People with challenges from a loss of limbs or ADHD, Down’s, Aspergers or worse, can speak up, wake up and be included … OK, GenZ!
The fact that the older generation were blindly following governments without knowing of their back-handers and operations is something that the network has corrected. The fact that everything today is transparent and open is surely far, far better … OK, GenZ!
And the older generation were careless about their kids. They let them go out and do stuff without watching them or managing them. We may be called helicopter parents, but I would far rather watch my child’s development personally than leave them to the wilderness of the predatory world … OK, GENZ!
Obviously, the debate raged on and on, discussing everything from Greta Thunberg to the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine conflicts … too much to go into … but our conclusion was interesting. The world is the way it has always been. Our priorities – whether boomers or GenZ – is to ensure the next generation inherits a world that is the best it could possible be. I guess those of my generation feel guilty about that, as we did not have that as our priority; thank goodness, the next generation has.
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...