Monday, August 9, 2010

Textin' Bout My Generation

I know this is not new news, but texting while someone is talking to you is so rude. It drives me nutty, seriously. I once got in a fight with someone I was on a date with because he sat there texting someone else practically the entire night. You can call me oversensitive, you can call me old fashioned. But if you're on a date with me, please don't sit there texting someone else, I don't care if it's another girl, your roommate, or a friend from home. Unless it's an emergency (which it wasn't) or unless it has some REALLY great explanation (you're the point man in charge of synching your latest casino heist a la Oceans 11) -- that you RELAY to me while you're texting -- it just flat-out indicates to me that you would rather be doing something else than having a conversation with me, the person you're with right now. Why are you even looking at your phone? Yoohoo, remember me? Yeah, over here. Hey, you! Yeah, look over here! See the person physically sitting across from you? Unless that's a text to ME (ha ha, aren't you clever, texting me sitting across from me!), please put the phone away.

I went out on a date with someone recently and he did not take his phone out THE ENTIRE NIGHT. Seriously, I don't even know what his phone looks like, because I didn't see it. Actually, I've been on a few subsequent dates with him, and guess what? I still don't know what his phone looks like. He literally hasn't looked at it once in my presence. Do you know how refreshing that is? In the world of rattle-y BBMing, Sidekick keyboard texting, iPhone bloop bleep swipey messaging and so much other nonsense, I felt so respected by him because he did not look at his phone. He may have snuck a peek while I was in the bathroom, but if he did, he did it really quickly, because the phone was nowhere to be found when I came out. I was ready to take him home to meet my mother, honest to Beezus.

Texting on dates is bad enough. What about texting AT WORK? Please tell me - WHY do these college-age kids think it's okay to text at work? It drives me insane. Every time I'm trying to give the interns instructions, they sit there texting while I'm talking to them. I'm not exaggerating here. They literally have told me, "hold on a second," so they could finish the word they were texting. Why didn't anyone ever teach these kids that this is not okay? It is seriously one of my pet peeves. You CANNOT be paying attention to me and really absorbing the directions I'm giving you if you are texting your boyfriend while I'm saying it. You just can't. Yes, it irritates me on dates, or when I'm talking to a friend, but nothing irritates me more than Gen-Yers texting at work, seriously. I ended up sending them a Harvard Business Review article about the dangers of multi-tasking and telling them, this means texting while I'm giving you directions too. Passive aggressive? Maybe. But something needed to be done.

I don't understand these Gen-Yers. Most of them are seriously are the most entitled people I've ever come across in my life, and I hate that word. At my internships, I did ANYTHING the company asked me to do, and yes this included brewing coffee, running errands and making copies. Internships are internships, suck it up. But they flat-out refuse to do things! Uh, hey, you're an intern. You'll do what I say you'll do. What the hell?

This goes for the recent college grads we employed at my old company. Some of them I just wanted to smack, I swear. I don't know where they get off thinking that they are entitled to a promotion because they've been at the company a year. Hey there Gossip Girl, it doesn't work that way. You have to work for what you get, just like the rest of us had to. Why don't you focus a little more on DOING YOUR JOB and a little less on applying mascara, and maybe then we can talk about a promotion.

I was talking on Twitter this morning with a few of my friends who are the same age as I am, and they agree with me when I say that I feel like I don't have a generation of my own. I know people who are definitely Gen-X, and I know people who are definitely Gen-Y. As someone in the borderline years, I don't feel like I belong to either of the generations, and it's hard to relate to the "characteristics" of either one. For example, MediaPost published this article today: "Gen Y Traits Come Honestly". I see these traits in the interns at my company, and in other college-age people I know. They are wholly and firmly Gen-Y, in all its Millennial glory. But honestly, I can't relate. I know I'm too young to technically be Gen-X, but I'm also too old to really be a Gen-Y.

My friend Stephon made an interesting point. I was the last class of students in college to not have Facebook. This stuff didn't exist when we were growing up. We aren't like the Millennials, who never knew a day without a cell phone or a relationship without Facebook. We didn't have computers when we were little. We used a card catalog at the library. Our phones had big long twisty cords, and our cell phones once we got them... well, you've seen Saved By The Bell. The defining characteristic of the Millennial generation (Gen-Y) is digital, digital, digital. But where does that leave the borderline years like mine? We are maybe a little more tech-savvy than Gen-X, but way more grounded than Gen-Y. I always feel like I am without a Gen-home. Do you agree?


Michael Murphy said...

I'm definitely with you on the texting while you're with someone. It is rude. And you should've married that guy because people who don't text or take/make phones calls while they're with someone are getting fewer and further between :( Good luck.

Lisa said...

Thanks Michael! I'm glad it's not just me. :-/