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Zombie Generation

January 17, 2013

Iona McLaren thinks the youth generation is “A zombie generation“, and that she, and her peers (at 21 years old) are the “feral precursors to the ‘Zombie Generation’,” because of a nostalgic memory for a time before computers, and better opportunity for child brain development:

We did our first growing up in a very different world from the one in which we will work and die. In my formative years, enormous, boxy computers had arrived in our classrooms but not quite everywhere else. Only drug dealers and businessmen had mobile telephones.

and

We are instead the feral precursors [of the information generation], a rare breed, a dodo-like subset. We may share the mad web skillz of today’s 15 year olds (and even if I don’t, you might) but, crucially, their young brains didn’t develop like ours.

McLaren’s Luddite argument is that the internet harms the development of youth ingenuity because of easy access to entertainment; claiming the need for boredom in developing young minds and advocating for playing with ants and frisbees.

I am reminded of the Hemingway phrase “lost generation“:

The term originated with Gertrude Stein who, after being unimpressed by the skills of a young car mechanic, asked the garage owner where the young man had been trained. The garage owner told her that while young men were easy to train, it was those in their mid-twenties to thirties, the men who had been through World War I, whom he considered a “lost generation” — une génération perdue. The 1926 publication of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises popularized the term …

And speaking of living through World War I, see also “Downtown Abbey Zombies

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