Before going deep into Generation Gap, first, let us know the exact definition of generation gap. Generation gap is a contradiction in views of two age groups. In simple terms, generation gap means people belonging to different age groups have a different way of thinking about some belief and value. While talking of generation gap, an image of old man and a youngster comes before our eyes. The definition of generation gap has got more widened in 21st from what it was earlier.
Talking about life, it is mainly divided into three parts – childhood, adulthood and old age. These are three generation of human beings. Nowadays these three parts of life have been divided into four with new names. These are traditional, baby boomers, generation X and millennial.
The term ‘generation gap’ first originated in early the 60s. At that time, it was believed that children go against their parents in almost everything including religious beliefs, moral values, personal preferences etc.
Often this generation gap is the cause of misunderstanding between parents and their children. In the modern era, the life of younger generation is governed by technology. They cannot come out from the comfort of modern gadgets like mobile phones, computers, tablets etc. Their way of thinking, ideologies are different from their parents. Parents try to enforce their values on children but the children want to live their life according to their own way. They have high expectations from their children. This isolates children from their parents. Parents are not wrong every time.
Let us take an example of how generation gap can affect the relationship between two generations. There is a boy, let’s call him X. His parents want him to become an engineer. But X is not interested in engineering. He wants to do something else which is innovative and creative. This occurs due to the difference in opinion of these two generations. This difference in opinion can lead to conflicts and relationship is affected.
How to bridge the gap between two generations i.e. parent and child?
The Parent-child relationship is a beautiful relationship that should include love and care and no hatred at all. It is bad to see that this relationship gets strained due to the difference in opinion. Parents should change their mindset with the change of time rather than imposing obsolete values on their children. There should be a good understanding between these two. Children should consider their parents as friends and not an enemy. They should share their thoughts and ideas with their parents. Two-way communication lays the foundation for a strong relationship. Children should seek the advice of their parents and value their feedback.
It should be noted that generation gap is not always bad. It has certain positive aspects also. New generation sets new fashion goals, introduce new slang terms, comes up with new innovative ideas and contributes to growth and development of science and technology. The concept of nuclear families is also a gift of the generation gap. Earlier people used to live in joint families but now their way of living has changed. Everyone has their own choices and preferences. They want to lead their life on their own while craving for privacy.
Now let us discuss how generation gap is prevalent in different aspects.
People of the older generation are used to live in joint families and they believe in the ethical concept of sharing and caring. In contrast to this, the new generation does not want to follow this traditional way of living. They want privacy and freedom of living. Their overall lifestyle is very much different from the older generation.
Talking about language, every new generation generates new slang in the name of modernity. Due to the introduction of these new slangs, communication older and younger generation becomes difficult.
Generation gap has also spread its wings in work culture. People belonging to earlier generation can work at the same place for a long time but the newer generation cannot do so. They get bored doing same work again and again and therefore frequently change their jobs. They have their own unique ideas and want to utilize these ideas for something innovative.
Just like a coin has two sides, generation gap has its pros and cons. In order to bridge this so-called generation gap, a better understanding is required between different generations. It is natural that people in different generations are different from each other in opinion and ideas. The problem arises when people from one generation try to enforce their beliefs on other generation. This should not be the case. The ideologies of human beings are constantly changing with the advent of time. The world is also changing rapidly with the growth of science and technology. Due to this change, generation gap occurs. Thus, this gap can be bridged by giving respect to each other’s beliefs and ideas.