JUST THINKING: Things that bring us together

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

There are a lot of things that separate the generations — especially when comes to current teenagers and the over 70 crowd.

There’s the way we communicate — my kids prefer using texting, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. My mom prefers handwritten notes, email, face-to-face and, when worse comes to worse, the telephone.

There’s grammar. When I was a kid, I had to think carefully about how I said certain things. Was it, “Jennifer and I” or “Jennifer and me”? And Heaven forbid, you end a sentence with a preposition: “Who are you going with?” or “Where are you at?” Do that and Grandma Hazel would correct you on the spot. These days phrases such as LOL, JK and IDK have wormed their way from texting lingo into actual verbal conversations. I can’t imagine what Hazel would think.

There’s style of dress. Many folks over the age of 70 don’t own a pair of jeans. And for some I know, it’s been a big deal in the past couple of years to buy denim — and actually wear it. These days, kids fork over extra money for holes in their pants and wear marks called “whiskers” on their pockets and thighs.

Folks may scoff at the opposite generation with phrases like “Teenagers today” or “Old fogies have no clue.” But the generations share common threads, too.

Many grandparents are opening their minds to technology and learning to use Facebook and Skype and smart phones to keep up with their kids and grandkids. Teenagers are establishing mentorships at senior centers and I’ve even seen clothing styles starting to hark back to the more formal days of years gone by.

A while ago, my mom, myself and my daughter realized we shared a common bond that most females — regardless of their age — would attest: A lust for stud muffin George Clooney.

Styles trend and language and communication morphs. But one thing holds true: We all have something to learn from one another. Really, it’s all about accepting change.

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