We are generation Y: the ones who grew up just as technology hit its peak in expansion, causing us to be the ever stimulated, gratification-driven generation. We are the expert multi-taskers who are constantly trying to prove just how much we can handle in our already fully-packed schedules. We are all about productivity and figuring out the best ways to achieve it all. On any media news source today, you can find a plethora of articles outlining tips and tricks to help us “hack” our lives. From finding the easiest ways to intricately carve a pumpkin that looks like it took hours to carve, to suggesting ways to wear a scarf as something other than a scarf, these life hacks are all about maximizing our time and making it look like we’ve figured it all out — even if we definitely haven’t.
Our gratification isn’t driven from the satisfaction of completing something to which we have dedicated our time and energy – instead, our gratification comes from crossing yet another item off of our to-do list, and being able to move onto the next one. Maybe this is because growing up with the internet meant that we had endless information in the palms of our hands. Because we are so accustomed to not having to wait for anything, we find it difficult to do time-consuming things. When it looks like a school project is going to take much longer than we are willing to commit to, we have a problem. While the ability to “hack” our lives definitely seems to help us maximize our productivity, it could do us some justice to slow down.
If we look at the generations prior to ours, like our parents’ or grandparents’, they are much more detail-oriented than we are. Older generations fully believe that the amount of time you put into something is equally proportionate to the result you will see. They’re the ones that would spend hours on an assignment until every little detail was perfect. Have you ever watched your parents type on an iPhone? It’s absolutely excruciating. They spend so much time focusing on making sure that every letter and word is typed to perfection. They don’t make use of autocorrect because they make sure to fix every possible issue before it has even arisen. At some point, your parents have probably mentioned how amazing it is that you type so fast. The only reason we actually type so fast is because we aren’t focusing on those little details, because we know that they’ll be fixed automatically. We focus instead on having our ideas expressed as soon as we think of them, rather than ensuring that all details are perfect. This speed with which we type is the generation gap. It is the differing mindset between parents and children in today’s world.
Neither mindset is better than the other. With such a quickly changing world, however, we should not continue to neglect the experiences we have for the sake of completing tasks. We can definitely benefit from taking a page from our parents’ book and being cautious about skipping out on all details. While there’s nothing wrong with using life hacks to find better ways to spend our time, we must remind ourselves that sometimes, making the time to really take a look at the details is more gratifying than crossing any item off of our to do lists will ever be.