I received a chain email yesterday:
The day that Albert Einstein
feared may have finally arrived.
Having coffee with friends.
A day at the beach.
Cheering on your team.
Having dinner out with your friends.
Out on an intimate date.
Having a conversation with your BFF
A visit to the museum
Enjoying the sights
You may have seen this already. Apparently it’s been making the rounds on a number of websites in various versions.
Whether or not you’ve seen it, though, it’s obvious that what this is is a not-so-subtle, inter-generational jab at the youth of today. And, at first blush, it has the appearance of being backed by one of the world’s foremost thinkers.
But once you dig a little deeper you quickly realize that this take on the “idiots” of today’s generation is really more of a reflection on those who perpetuate it.
Take the most obvious point, for example — the Einstein quote. It’s a fake. This is demonstrated on site after site; and really the thing that Einstein feared about technology is how dangerous it has become (in the form of things like the hydrogen bomb, for example). In fact, use of the word “idiot” by Einstein seems highly unlikely. Additionally, the quote in it’s current incarnation doesn’t seem to exist anywhere prior to 2012 (and I remember a reference to something similar dated to around 2000).
In any event, it ain’t Einstein. And you know how people could verify that? Technology, for starters!
But lets assume that the quote is correct, regardless of who said it.
A “generation of idiots”?
The pictures show kids on mobile phones — disconnected from the world around them, maybe, but what about this makes them “idiots”? Well, if a two-way interaction with a screen makes them “idiots”, what does it make the generation that precedes them?
Spending quality time
Yeah, that knife can cut both ways, and the older edge goes just a little deeper. Besides, the progenitors of these “idiots” are the ones responsible for making them that way (either that, or they’re a bunch of irresponsible goofs).
I also couldn’t notice the use of the acronym BFF in one of the images — something that came about as a result of the need for brevity in text-based conversations on small screens. Kind of ironic. Almost as ironic (maybe intentionally — if only it had been communicated with finesse), as one of the replies that to the thread that was broadcast back out to the email herd:
“Sad isn’t it
Sent from my “contract free” BlackBerry® smartphone on the WIND network.”
I rest my case.