Generation gap: Does it lead to more understanding or more differences?Generation gap: Does it lead to more understanding or more differences?

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mrs-nelson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many teachers on this site work in high schools where the generation gap has never been more apparent.  Technology has probably created the widest gap in history.  However, I do not attribute most of the differences to the environmental gap in generations.  I attribute it to the teenage brain vs the adult brain in general.  Much research has been done to prove that teenage brains are not fully developed in the area of decision making and reasoning.  Therefore, teenagers will always make decisions adults do not understand or agree with.  Consider the following quote:

 "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties (meals) at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

 This could be said in the current generation or about any generation and it is attributed to Socrates by Plato.  My view is that generation gaps will always lead to more differences, it is just human nature. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The whole idea of a generation gap is based on the idea that there are major differences between the generations.  It is hard to see how a generation gap could lead to more understanding.  (I assume that you are talking about understanding or differences between the generations.)

A generation gap occurs when the circumstances that face the younger generation are much different from those that face the older generation.  This leads to different life experiences and can lead to each group having different values.  If your father grew up poor and on a farm and you are growing up in a city with your mobile phone and the internet, you will likely have very different attitudes.

This cannot really lead to more understanding unless you and your father are very patient and very willing to work with each other.  The "default" will be that you and your father will not understand each other because your life is so different from his at the same age.

Therefore, the generation gap typically will lead to more differences and less understanding.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Any gap depends on what issue is at hand. There will be some views that will be passed on to the next generation unchanged. In other instances, each generation will have different experiences and views. If we were to take technology for example (since we are in the technology age), a generation gap is apparent and of course leads to more differences. My parents are in their 50's and are not into the internet (though many people their ages do frequently use the internet).

I'm in my 30's yet I still don't believe in texting being used as a primary form of communication, which is what many younger people do before they consider picking up the phone or talking to someone face to face.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
By gap you imply that the two generations do not understand each other. There are many reasons for this. A person does not grow up in a vacuum. Events that occur as a child grows up help shape him or her, causing members of a generation to have some ideas and behaviors in common. This is why we give generations names, such as the Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and so on.