Technology Shapes All Generations


Ava Bearskin, Editor-in-Chief

Technology is a huge part of our everyday life. We have cell phones on us constantly. We use laptops and TVs on the daily. That wasn’t always the case, though. Older generations have had different experiences with technology than Gen Z. There used to be pagers, landline phones with dials, word processors, and more.
Baby Boomers are the generation that were born between 1946-65. For the latter part of the generation, technology developed rapidly, especially for those who became teachers and had to keep up with what the next generation was doing. “You could get Pong for the TV, video games (PacMan, Donkey Kong) were huge. Cable TV started in the area and VCR/Beta max machines. If you are around my age, technology has been super fast in its changes. I understand why older people give up on trying to learn it, because it changes so quickly you can never get comfortable with it. I never had a smart board in my class. It was the “thing” to have; now they are old. I missed an entire part of technology and it doesn’t matter. I usually try to wait before jumping on to a tech trend. Remember, I grew up when we were deciding if we should use VHS or Betamax; it was cheaper to wait.” Mr. Lopinot comments on what technology was like when he was a kid and how technology has evolved since then.
The generation younger than the Boomers is Generation X. They were born around 1965-80. Depending on which decade they were born in, this generation grew up on anything from rotary phones and early Apple computers to pagers and Commodore 64s or IBMs. They had limited cable television. “Learning to use it can be fun, but also incredibly frustrating and overwhelming. Everything in the world relies on working technology now, including teaching. I think it’s as much a detriment in the classroom as it is helpful, though I’m thankful that technology allows us to still have school during a pandemic,” says Mrs. Moritz. Technology can be a difficult thing to keep up with and to learn how to use but Mrs. Moritz is managing in a technologically advanced society.
Those born from 1980-94 are Generation Y, better known as the Millennials. “When I was a young kid, we only had house phones (and some people had pagers). I remember being excited about getting our first cordless phone and getting caller ID. When cell phones first came out, they were very basic and you could only make calls on them.” says Millennial Ms. Giubardo about how she grew up and how different technology was when she was a kid versus now.
“I grew up with a Nintendo DS and that always made me laugh when I had a bad day. Now it’s different with the stress of social media and online school,” Sophia Maciocia, a Generation Z student at Pattonville says. Generation Z is the youngest generation right now. The people born from 1996 and on. This is the generation that has had technology around them their entire lives.
The technology differences can have an effect on doing online school at Pattonville. The entire school is having to learn how to use new programs such as Canvas and Zoom which can be difficult to do on such a large scale. On the topic of online school at Pattonville, Mrs. Moritz says “We are fortunate that Pattonville provides us with so many tools and quite a bit of training so that we can still have school right now. I am also very lucky that my students are patient–they help me when I don’t know how to do something or something doesn’t work. I think we are spending far too much time on our screens, but it’s better than not seeing my students at all. Online school is a necessary evil, but nothing can replace in-person instruction.”
From dial phones to smartphones, from cable tv to streaming services, from phone minutes to wifi texting, there are a lot of differences that can affect how well people learn to use the technology that is required for living nowadays. Whether technology is good or bad, it is a necessary part of our society and is constantly changing.