Message to Millenials

By Jill Salomon on September 19, 2016

I'm so glad that I was born in 1961. I am a product of my time. A time of rebellion against a raging war in Vietnam. A time of loving love and wanting peace - but really wanting it. Meaning it. Woodstock and the free love movement. Colors and nature and coke ads where they wanted us all to teach the "world to sing".

When Bell wanted us to "reach out and touch someone." When there were four movies that we watched each year on one televisio. -(The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, It's a wonderful Life) - and it wasn't an HD big screen. You may have even had rabbit ears on top of that television for better reception. (For the millenials, you can google "rabbit ears.")

We went to the park alone in the summer - with our friends, not our parents. And in the summer we could stay out all day, and where I lived on Parkhaven the 6:00pm church bells were my cue to come home for dinner. Then there was hide and seek at dusk. And we ran through other people's backyards (neighbours were really people you liked and they let you run through their yards. Fences had doors.) We rode our bikes through the neighbourhood. Without helmets. We survived the trip.

As we grew, there was the Orange Julep on a Friday night. Like a scene from American Graffiti, where the "waitresses" were on roller skates (not roller blades) and they would hook the tray of hot dogs, grilled cheese, french fries and that oh so delicious ice cream tasting orange heaven onto your rolled down car window. 

Telephones rang. And you didn't know who was calling. No caller ID. Who could it be, it didn't matter. We really weren't avoiding anyone, and if we were, we just wouldn't answer. There was no such thing as a telemarketer. If you weren't home - you weren't reachable until later. No answering machines.

We ate dinner together ( we were fortunate). We talked about the day. We did homework, and we needed paper and a pen or pencil. And an encyclopedia. A dictionary. And later perhaps a thesaurus.No computers. Imagine. No Google. No Google images. No Wikipedia.

And music. My beloved records. 33 or 45 ring a bell to any millenials? The brand new album, with the art and the lyrics and the record player. We had a console in the living room. It looked like a piece of furniture and it had a stereo in it. Stereo - meaning coming from both sides - was new too.We had advanced from the gramaphone. By the way millenials, the gramaphone is the statues that Justin Bieber wins at the "Grammys".

Concerts cost no more than $20 at the Montreal Forum. And you might go and line up the night before to get your tickets. hanging out on the sidewalk of Ste-Catherine and Lambert-Closse with the others who wanted to see Supertramp for the 10th time. You could bring your own beer and whatever.You were allowed to go outside during the show. Not locked into the Bell Center, a little buzzed from your $10.00 beer and just wanting some air.

I do have a smart phone. But I don't really use it,as I am smarter in an emotional Quotient kind of way. and being emotionally aware, I need to connect with real things. Like people. I am not satisfied just texting these people. It is impersonal and the grammar is terrible. Being a teacher, this kind of bothers me. And spell check. Don't get me started.

When I walk I look at things around me - in my environment. Like beautiful murals on unknown walls all over our amazing city. Do the millenials know that they live in such an amazing city, with so much history and beauty. Maybe they do, but they aren't living in it or through it - they live around it taking pictures of it. Pictures which they probably won't ever look at again.

When we took pictures way back when, we had to wait for the film to be developed, and the excitement of picking those pictures up and gathering together to look at them and laugh or feel proud of your beautiful new child. Then we put those pictures in a photo album which we still look at today and show our children and grandchildren. Friends. New boyfriends.

What will the millenials have to show 50 years from now. They will have deleted those photos as there is not enough storage on their phone. They will not have visual memories on "hard copy".

Some millenials are realizing the value of what we had. I see turntables being sold downtown. ( I wished I had saved mine.... and all those albums. Like $25.00 an album now, And people are buying them. I also saw a millenial taking a polaroid picture the other day, and as she shook the picture, she and her friend waited for it to be developed, and when it was, they laughed. They will keep that picture forever.

I love you millenials for all of the technological advances in curing diseases and helping ease suffering - with all of your technological savvy. I truly respect that. Have a great day, and leave your phone in your pocket while you walk. And stop and smell a rose - not a Starbucks coffee.


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