Saturday, February 19, 2011


Sometimes I am shocked by what I see -- on television, in the movies, and on the internet. I never thought I would be on the other side of the generation gap, but, it turns out that I am, several times over.

Growing up, my parents always told us not to discuss family finances, medical issues, or other personal/family problems with friends, never mind strangers. Alcoholism? Not discussed. Divorce? Unspeakable. Drug addiction? Anorexia? Suicide? Not in a million years.

In our current technological age, the younger generation post all kinds of personal information in cyberspace with wily abandon, information that is retrievable seemingly forever. Sometimes that information is the written word, sometimes it is a photo, sometimes its a YouTube video. Better not say or write anything you might later regret, because the internet doesn't come with an eraser.

When I was a teenager, my grandparents were shocked at the fact that teenage girls wore mini-skirts and tight sweaters. They were shocked at unwed teen mothers having babies, even though I am sure it occasionally happened in their heyday as well, it was just hidden and not discussed. Today, I can watch a TV show (on Lifetime) where women have the births of their babies televised and broadcast for all the world to see. (Certain anatomical parts are creatively not visible to the camera.) Photographing a live birth would be inconceivable to my grandparents, even if the technology had been available at the time.

Don't get me wrong -- I am glad that many topics are out in the open and can be discussed more freely. But I do believe judgment is required. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

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