Sunday, February 12, 2012


There has been some talk lately about what the next generation will be named.  It seems that there's a "letter" trend since the induction of my own generation: Generation X.  Following us was Generation Y.  So, I guess it seems fitting that some would recommend the title Generation Z for the current generation.  I don't agree.  I've given some thought to it, and I would like to submit my suggestion: The "i" generation.

There's the obvious connotation of the tech gadgets that begin with "i" like the iphone, ipod, ipad, itouch, etc. Kids are familiar with each of them; often owning one themselves (at ages FAR too young in my honest opinion).  It's also slightly morbid, but mostly befitting, that the Apple mogul died during this generation.  He is now idolized (another "i") and revered more than ever before.

There are some words with "i" that we hear frequently now: imagine, ideals, increase, identity, ideology, immersion, immediate, immunizations, IQ, Iditarod (ok, just making sure you're still paying attention).  Any one of these can be spun into a description for the future of our children.  

But it goes much farther than that.  For me, one of the strongest arguments is for the "i" to stand for "ironic." We're getting so advanced in our technology that we can see people across an ocean and speak to them in real time.  We can text and it takes mere seconds to reach someone.  We're more "in touch" than ever before.  Yet, look around.  If you go to a restaurant, people aren't talking to the ones at their own table.  They're texting, or facebooking, or emailing people at a distance.  The "i" can also be for "internet".  Are they still calling it that these days? I can't keep up.  I still say w-w-w dot when giving a web address.  Silly me.  But the older I get, the more pessimistic I get about the direction we are headed.

I've been noticing for a while that parents are giving small children technology to keep them quiet instead of teaching them to be social or occupy themselves without a movie or game.  I'm amazed at the 3 year olds that are allowed to run around with an ipad.  I certainly wouldn't hand my daughter five $100 bills and let her run around with them!  She hid my keys in the toybox once and I couldn't find them for 36 hours.  She's not to be trusted.

The "i" can also be a capital "I."  We're raising a selfish generation, because that's what we're modeling.  I've already read a handful of articles that talk about parents needing to put their phones down and pay attention to their children.  How sad that our children are not a priority! Have we forgotten that "Children are our heritage and a blessing from the Lord"? (Psalm 127:3).

How great would it be if we could flip that "i" into something positive? If this is the generation my children will be part of, I want to show them that their ancestors didn't have it all wrong.
I want them to be part of the "I can still sit and write a letter" generation; or the "I would love to have a conversation with you" generation; or the "I believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow" generation.  Better yet, let's call it the U generation.  I love YOU because Christ loved YOU. How can I serve YOU? What can I do to help YOU? YOU are important! YOU matter.

Imagine that.  


  1. Loved this. I also had to laugh out loud because just today I was going to write a post on this exact same topic! So funny! I didn't get around to it, but hope to later this week :) I agree 100% with everything you said.

  2. Wow! When do you have time to write such profound posts???? You truly are a supermom! I just finally posted about Christmas. It was pretty much all pictures with a few words here and there:)My posts used to have a little more substance before Grant came along...just a little though:)

    You are SO right! The thing we are working on with our girls the most right now is being less selfish and serving others. We try hard to help them recognize how much we give them because we love them, but at the same time that they can't have everything they want. Sometimes it's because they simply don't need it, sometimes it's because we can't afford it and sometimes it's because they haven't earned it. This generation has a lot handed to them....which feeds the "I" mentality. I figure all we can do is be good examples to our children and teach them to be good examples to others.

    Love that scripture! So glad we are are such a good example to me:)

  3. Love this, Heather. When I read, "i", I immediately thought "I" as in "me". Selfishness. We are struggling against that right now. Especially with "the oldest". I hate to be so negative, but I do agree with the "i" generation. Unfortunately, I think it's completely fitting.

    I'm still so sad we were unable to meet up last week :( So close.

  4. I worked at a University in HR and from my own experience, as well as studies of Generation Y, they are actually considered to be the most self-centered & "me" generation. Probably generations before us (I am in the Gen "X" grouping) thought we were the most self-centered. I know that technology can seem like it is consuming us and creating a mannerless world, but I think that fault lies with the upbringing, not the abundance of technology. My husband and I don't sit around texting others when we are together because we were taught differently. It has to do with your values, that's all.
    I do also have one counterpoint to the comment about giving children hi-tech devices, and that is to not judge others so harshly. You don't know why they are doing what they do. Sometimes it is a benefit, but because you don't know the situation you are assuming it to be negative from your perspective. My 2-year old is autistic and we just got an ipad, which is a tremendous help to him. I do give it to him to work & play with. He is very respectful with the device...maybe because it helps him so much he can understand (even at 2 yrs) that he needs to treat it properly.
    Thank you for hearing my points.

    1. Deborah, since you do not have an email address linked to your profile, I'm addressing your points here. I hope you check back in to read them. Truly, I believe you have misunderstood my post. I have not villified technology in and of itself. It's the way parents have allowed their children far too much access to mindless technology that concerns me. My kids all know how to use a computer and an iphone, but their time is limited as well as the content. My intention is not to be judge others harshly for simply having children that use technology, but rather suggest that technology be used wisely instead of as a babysitter or a pacifier. Too much time spent with any technology (adults included) is time away from actual interaction and conversation. You can't argue with the fact that people communicate far more through email and text and chat than they did in the past because those technologies did not exist. I don't believe that I've removed value from it at all. In fact, that's the tone of the whole post: that parents are placing value in the wrong area and thus affecting our kids. I place blame squarely with the parents. Children only follow what they are taught and modeled. In fact, there's an entire paragraph in this post about how we are modeling selfish behavior to our children. It's a perpetuating behavior that won't end unless we are proactive. And for us, as a Christian family, I see the importance even more evidently that we raise our children to think of others and put God first. I believe we're called to raise compassionate, well-rounded, leaders that serve others. It's a delicate balance between building them up and teaching them humility. Unfortunately, I think that humility part is becoming a lost art. That was simply my point with this post. Our children need to love others and be able to communicate that properly. I hope you'll read my post with fresh eyes now that you know my heart. I do appreciate your feedback and I'm always happy to hear a counterpoint.


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