Pea Bee #10: not young people anymore
I read an article some time back that young people of today do not know how to use the filesystem. They grew up in the era of apps and google search and have no concept of folders or directory structure. I don’t know how to process this information because in my mind this is such a basic part of how to use a computer.
As a kid, I didn’t have a 24x7 fast internet connection. I spent more time with the local files on my PC than I did on the internet. And I took great care in organising them. No matter how messy real life was, there was peace and even self-entitlement in knowing that at least my computer was in order. I even partitioned the disks on my PC into smaller parts so that every type of file was where it needed to be. I remember regularly running the windows native defrag tool on all the partitions even though I had no clue what it actually did.
There was joy in curating the data I owned on my computer because the space was only finite. An important ritual in my youth was inspecting files in someone’s PC desktop and using that information to decide how cool they were. (Only in hindsight do I know that it was actually me who was being judged)
Whenever I read an article that talks down young people and their way of life, I feel like it’s personally directed at me because I am young people. All my life I have been young people. And I take great pleasure in making fun of these authors. They’re so off the mark in their understanding of us and our culture.
Now, every so often when I read such articles I feel more and more alienated from these young people being talked about. I am no longer able to see myself in them. I’ve only recently turned thirty and this is a sobering thought - maybe, just maybe, I am not young people anymore?
I’ve always disliked those who smugly go on about how their generation was better and how rotten today's kids are in comparison. Nostalgia is a double-edged sword and as I grow older I have to be careful to not fall into this mindset trap. I have no conservative bone in my body, and it is my opinion that the next-gen will always be cooler than the incumbent one. Modern is better. And the onus is on me to keep updating my worldview and moral systems as the culture around me changes - not the other way around.
If I think about it, I have never maintained a proper physical paper filing system, much to the dismay of my previous generation who did. The kids today can probably get by just fine by not needing to understand the directory structure and it's okay. Everything is online and easily searchable anyway.
But, having said that, if there is someone reading this who doesn’t properly understand how a hierarchical folder system works. Listen to this old man yelling at cloud and take a day or two to learn it. It is so simple and who knows you may someday find it useful.