Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Silent generation made some noise

Happened across a Pew Internet & American Life Project report, Generations Online in 2009 . Quite interesting. Describes what people of various ages are doing online. Turns out oldsters are holding up their end pretty well in cyberspace, e-mailing, googling and so on right along with their grandchildren.

My attention was grabbed by the reference to my age group as the "Silent Generation." This term was unknown to me, or just forgotten, which amounts to the same thing. So I thought I'd dig further, as I have never felt that I was silent, and have never noticed this trait in my buddies either. In fact, it's hard to get a word in edgewise much of the time, and several of them keep right on yammering while I'm putting or making a tee shot.

Apparently Time magazine coined the term in 1951, and called my bunch, among other things, "grave and fatalistic, conventional, possessing confused morals, expecting disappointment." Then author William Manchester chimed in with "withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, indifferent, unadventurous and silent." What a dreary bunch we were.

Well, maybe we were just late bloomers, because this generation produced Elvis Presley, Margaret Trudeau, Jesse Jackson, the Beatles, Martin Luther King, Bruce Cockburn, Gloria Steinem, Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, Bruce Lee, Martha Stewart, Cannonball Adderley, and me. For a more complete list of "silents" who were far from wallflowers, check out The Silent Generation.

So "Shush."

No comments:

Post a Comment