Technology and generations or Sex between consenting adults

I do hope you guys are not in the same house! (Photo by Ed Yourdon)

I’m puzzled by what seems a widespread and regular pattern in our response to technology, and even more puzzled because it seems to fit the neat generation XYZ schema (which I’ve always needed more than a little pinch of added salt to swallow).The phenomenon is this:

  1. A nearly elderly (i.e. 50s-60s that is the age when you deny you are elderly, but are quite likely to be a grandparent, or if not are older than many friends who are grandparents already) couple communicate via Facebook perhaps by both commenting on a third person’s wall…
  2. A nearly middle-aged person (i.e. someone who is less fit and capable than they once were, but who has not yet admitted that they are past their absolute prime, i.e. in their late 20s-30s, they are likely to be a parent, or if not etc…) comments “I do hope you guys are not in the same place!” or some similar eruption of shock and horror at the prospect of communication between a married couple in the same house which is electronically mediated.

What’s going on? Haven’t these Gen XYZers not heard of electronic communications? Do they think that there is something less than useful in such media? Or is their shock somehow like that of a younger generation discovering that their parents actually have sex (or even once used to)?

Can someone explain this phenomenon to me? Or point me to a sensible discussion of this? I am really puzzled, what is wrong with “talking” to someone via a bunch of tame electrons if they happen to be in the same geographical location?


2 comments on “Technology and generations or Sex between consenting adults

  1. jonathan robinson

    because being choosing to communicate by electrons when you could easily do it face to face is dehumanising and crass, electronis communication should be reserved for when fleshly alternatives are not conveniently available ;-)

    of course this all relies on a matter of judgement, something old people are losing . . .

  2. tim

    Or perhaps as you are discovering, your parents were right all those decades ago, wisdom comes with experience?