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.  


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