Can you complete this old advertising jingle?
Almond Joy's got nuts, mounds don't.
The other day in our office I discovered, and I am sure I am not the first 45 year old boss to have such a moment, that our newest hires had no idea what I was talking about. Luckily, some of our more seasoned employees chimed in and I was only slightly humiliated by the passage of time and memories of a long-ago most popular jingle.
Our newest company addition, a very capable young woman from Northeastern, Class of 2012, had no idea what I was singing off key and for good reason, that ditty is twelve years older than she was. However, it's an interesting moment culturally because that ditty from the 1970s was popular on TV, it was part of our culture, it feels like a more modern moment but indeed it got its start more than thirty five plus years ago.
A 45 year old boss and a 22 year old new employee would always have differences of time and experience but I wonder if there has ever been a time when you have not only great differences and great similarities. Twenty years ago, the boss would have liked different music and had different tastes in TV shows of the day.
However, now thanks to technology, those lines are being blurred. I have an iPad and she hasn't gotten one yet. We both have iPods. We are both on Facebook (much to her chagrin I suppose but she was good enough to friend me back, but I'm betting that's only a work deal as our company is an online marketing group.) We are consumers and users of new media in very similar ways, ways that wouldn't have linked someone a generation apart, a generation ago.
But as we are similar in how we are consuming media today and in our daily technology experiences, our pasts are so stunningly different it's amazing to think.
In 1987, when I graduated from Duke, this is my short sweet list of things that didn't exist. No internet. No Facebook. No cellular phones. No laptop computers.
I remember fax machines with the rolls. She does not. Because she was born that same year.
What I remember clearly, she has no experience of. (Sony Walkman? Check.)
And yet here we are, both living and using the newest and latest technology. True she has a few thousand more photos on Facebook than I do (something I definitely have noticed is a generational difference) and she is more comfortable with some of the tools and technologies.
But our present and our futures look very similar even if our pasts, and especially our paths to this moment of connectivity do not.