We're namers. We like to put people and things in buckets, assign labels to the buckets and fit them into our handy memory garage. We're especially big on naming generations. We call the 1920s The Roaring Generation because we drank a lot, the Greatest Generation because we fought a "good war," Silent because we were repressed and The Baby Boomer Generation because birth control was not high on the family to-do list. But after the boomers, we seem to have lost our creative mojo and started naming generations after the alphabet -- like X, Y and Z. Then in a bold move we switched to the calendar with The Millennials. Dull. Letters and dates say nothing about the qualities of these 21st century folks. Perhaps we should relabel them, give them a name that more accurately defines their character.
Submitted for your approval: The Hoodie Generation -- so named for the ubiquitous hooded sweatshirts worn by so many of the males of the species.
For starters, Hoodies can see only what's in front of them. Like a plow horse with eye-blinders, they have no side-line distractions. Their focus is forward. Where they've been -- not so important.
Hoodies have a screen-eye-only view of the world, framing life as if it were a movie, TV, or computer screen or -- so scary -- like a gaming console screen somewhere underground in the Midwest guiding killer-drone strikes in far off lands.
Since books and newspapers are not screens, Hoodies tend to access words on smartphones, Kindles, Nooks and tablet screens which is why your local Barnes & Nobles is now a shoe store and the last book out the door was Blue Rider Press's Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd.
Another thing. Hoodies tend to be vitamin deficient -- not enough the healthy sunshine vitamin D gets past those hoods. As you know, major D-def can lead to rickets.
Consider, please, the Hoodie Generation's concept of home base. It's not Dorothy's "There's no place like home" anymore. With a divorce rate more than 50 percent, many of these Hoodies shuttle endlessly back and forth between parents so much that when one was asked where home was -- he pointed to his laptop.
But a new year is coming upon us so this may be the appropriate time to reevaluate, to rethink our thinking, perhaps to rename the name of the male-dominant digital immigrant Hoodie Generation and include both genders.
Therefore submitted for your reapproval: The Digital Generation. After all, these folks are digital natives. They grew up with PCs, Macs, gaming consoles and handheld devices. Some of us are older digital immigrants who rely on these digi-natives much like our immigrant grandparents turned to their American-born kids to help them navigate the new world.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Millennials or Hoodies henceforth be named The Digitals because... well, this is the age of all things digital and they are its masters and frankly because of my continuing ability to call on these skilled and generous folks whenever my computer locks up.