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Technology Gap Between Generations, Interview Essay. Am I doing this correctly?


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Thanks in advance for your help. For this assignment I did not actually interview anyone. I guess technically I was supposed to, but I just ran with it. Nothing written in the essay actually happened, so I guess it is fiction... I sort of just "freestyled" the essay... Probably not the best idea... and I'm not sure at all if what I've written will satisfy the professors request for me. Can you read over the assignment details, as well as my essay, and provide me with an answer to whether or not I should scrap this and craft a new essay based around the suggested questions and assignment details provided to me? Thanks again.

The professor says "Your interview questions should concentrate on people's values, beliefs, aspirations, perceptions of the world, and attitudes toward other generations and cultures."
Based on that, I'm pretty sure my essay is, not going to be satisfactory. It reads more like a narrative or something, I dunno... I can put the words together alright, but the various writing methods, structures, and terminology, not so much....
Basically I wanted to make sure my essay is trash before I toss it... So here I am.
I do have adequate time should I need to start all over... no big deal.

I'll include first the assignment information as provided by my professor. I'll close this message with my essay.
____

(assignment details)
INTERGENERATIONAL INTERVIEWS

SEE BELOW

Aug 26, 2010, 11:21am   #3
I have to agree that this reads much more like a narrative than an essay written based off an interview. I don't see the interview at all if I'm being completely honest.
bookerhost09:
values, beliefs, aspirations, perceptions of the world, and attitudes toward other generations and cultures

These weren't even touched on. The only issue that is presented here is that older generations have issues with newer technology, which is hardly something revealing. I would advise doing the interviews, instead of situations you've shown us. Gaining information might provide you with a better thesis than:
bookerhost09:
it seems that older people may have more difficulty harnessing new technology than younger people.


Your opening paragraph, however, drew me in. I like the juxtaposition between the grandfather and the child. I would keep the intro or something like the intro, and continue from there with real interviews and real information.

Best of luck!
Thank you for your input. I decided to come back here and post the final copy of my essay for you to look over and critique if you would like. I've attempted to take what you explained and churn out something a bit more suitable for the assignment. I hope I've succeeded in doing this.

Thanks again for taking the time to help.

...Btw, this copy is HUGE. tl;dr all day.


EDIT* wow... the formatting got terribly screwed up.
if any of you actually read this giant glarb of ugly text, i apologize.....
:shrug: it looked good as a .pdf
____________

How Different Generations of People Perceive the World

By: Kahrl Porkerbahn



Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Instructor Franco de la Jerry Garcia

August 27, 2010
To appease my youngest sons happy meal demands I have found myself eating

at McDonald's on several occasions as of late. It was during one of these trips that I

overheard some dialog between an older gentlemen and what I presumed to be his

grandson. Granddad's cell phone had started to vibrate and the sound of Nokia's default

ring-tone was blaring throughout the dining area. The man struggled to either turn the

phone down or perhaps to simply answer the call. Obviously frustrated, he exclaimed,

"These darn things!", while tossing the phone back onto the table. At that moment the

boy snatches the phone, answers it, and begins to have a conversation with an unknown

party on the other end. I would wager a bet that although Granddad does not seem very

tech-savvy, he is certainly knowledgeable in other areas. The grandson probably has no

idea how to do some of the things that his grandfather can easily accomplish. The

technology available to us, the culture we are accustomed to, the society in which we

were raised, and the changes we face in our lifetime all play a huge role in how

different generations of people perceive the world.

I decided to research this a bit further by conducting interviews with two people

from different age groups, hoping to gain insight about people from different

generations. I wanted to ask them questions and see what differences in their

perceptions of the world I might discover. Beginning with Jessica, age 28, who is

employed as a secretary and the mother of a small child, I asked a standard set of

questions and noted the responses:
What is important to you in your life?
Family...my son Jordan and seeing him get a good education and have positive role

models in life. Meeting my goals and being successful, not just for my own personal

gain but for my family's as well.
What is valuable?

An education...sense of family, caring about others.
How would you define success?

When you complete all your goals, feeling content in life...not just monetary success but

completing and following through with all your personal goals.
What are the characteristics of a successful person?

Smart about a variety of subjects, having a sense of pride in your work, knowing what

has failed in the past and working to change for the better to secure the future.
What types of changes have you seen in the past that have been either positive or

negative? Briefly describe why you feel this way?
Positive changes in the past have been the increase of technology which has benefited

the country as far as healthcare and just the general way we function in life. Negative

changes have been the costs of living, everything has dramatically increased in price

and Americans are suffering because of it, debt is out of control and the lack of jobs

has increased as well....very negative.

How would you describe the relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world (or

one other country)?

It could be better, we are a wasteful country and could be doing more to help the rest of

the world. Other countries view us a threat and we as well view other countries as a

threat I believe.
What changes (if any) would you like to see take place in the next decade? Do you

expect these changes to occur?

More jobs, and for the cost of living to decrease. Not sure if I see these changes

occurring, right now I feel pessimistic about the health of the country due to the

national debt and economy.
How would you describe relations between culturally different groups in the U.S.?

Have they improved or worsened?
I think they have worsened in a lot of ways...Americans see culturally different groups

as a threat to their jobs and security.
What might account for any frustration that might be felt regarding changes in the U.S.

and abroad?

Badly ran government and world leaders not communicating well, lack of jobs, gas

prices, higher costs of living, not enough resources for everyone .
Have changes taken place in the U.S. and/or around the world that you are pleased

with or that frustrate, anger, or sadden you?

Not really pleased with any changes currently, I feel frustrated because I feel like the

government has not really made any positive changes lately. We are so in debt its hard

to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am angry because it is very hard for the

average person to get ahead in life. It seems like you have to have money to make

money and its hard for people with good ideas to make any real changes. But also I

look at how much the US takes for granted, when compared to other countries we

really do have it good in comparison to many third world countries and it reminds

myself to be grateful for what we do have even though at times it feels like its not much.
How can we account for any differences between generations with regard to

perceptions about intercultural or personal relations?

Every generation is going to feel differently about different cultures based upon how

they were raised and what they were taught. I think people my age are more acceptable

with other cultures. The older generation has seen a lot more than I have seen and may

feel strongly about acceptance of other cultures. It certainly seems that way when I

have talked to people older than me.
After speaking with Jessica, I was left with the impression that she cares a great

deal about her family and I'm inclined to think that this is something that people of all

generations can relate to. On the other hand, her views toward the United States and

how other countries view our government struck me as bold, and I would assume that

other people may not feel as strongly about this as she does. Eager to see what

discrepancies may exist in the responses of someone who was raised in a different

generation than Jessica, I met with John, age 58, who works in the medical field and is

married with several children. I asked John the same questions I had asked Jessica,

noting his responses:
What is important to you in your life?

Family is very important to me. Also being able to provide for them and to see them

happy.
What is valuable?

My health is valuable. As I've gotten older it has become more and more important.
How would you define success?

Success is the achievement of goals and accomplishments.
What are the characteristics of a successful person?

I think a successful person works very hard to achieve success.
What types of changes have you seen in the past that have been either positive or

negative? Briefly describe why you feel this way?

When I was in younger, kids were disciplined. Today it seems like children are never

punished or held responsible for their actions, and I think this will have a negative

effect on them later in life.
How would you describe the relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world (or

one other country)?

I think we are trying to help other countries who might not have the same freedoms that

we have here in the United States.
What changes (if any) would you like to see take place in the next decade? Do you

expect these changes to occur?

I would like to see universal healthcare for all Americans. I do expect this change to

occur and I think it will be great for our country.
How would you describe relations between culturally different groups in the U.S.?

Have they improved or worsened?

They have improved greatly in my lifetime. I can remember when there was much more

racism than there is today.
What might account for any frustration that might be felt regarding changes in the U.S.

and abroad?

People are set in their ways and it is hard for them to accept changes.
Have changes taken place in the U.S. and/or around the world that you are pleased

with or that frustrate, anger, or sadden you?

It frustrates me that the price of gas has risen to such heights.
How can we account for any differences between generations with regard to

perceptions about intercultural or personal relations?

I think what I said before about people being set in their ways applies here as well.
It seems I was correct in assuming that family would be very important to

people of all generations, as Jessica and John both mentioned this as being important in

their lives. Also, responses to questions regarding values and characteristics of success

seemed to match up. A sense of pride in taking care of the family by working hard and

being successful was evident in both interviews, as it should. These are things that do

not change much from generation to generation, and unless a drastic shift in the values

of our society takes place, I do not suspect that this will change anytime soon.

However, there were differences in the responses, specifically when I asked

about relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world. John said "I think we are

trying to help other countries who might not have the same freedoms that we have here
in the United States.", while Jessica offered an alternative take on things by stating

"Other countries view us a threat and we as well view other countries as a threat I

believe." While both of these perceptions could be accurate, I think that the generation

gap is a factor in the tone of the response. Someone reading John's response may think

of the U.S. as a knight in shining armor, saving the world from terror. However, it could

also be interpreted that this is a notion of our government forcing policies and traditions

upon other countries who may not wish for this to occur. Maybe these countries are

proud of their heritage of hating freedom, hating the United States, or slaughtering cute

puppies if that their custom. Jessica is obviously aware of the possibility of this

scenario as she expressed that other countries may view such an encroachment on

another culture's tradition as a threat. This relates to changes that have occurred over

generations. It is easy to imagine that John was raised during a time when

communication between cultures was not so prevalent. In Jessica's timeline, we have

the rise of the Internet which signaled an increase in communication between cultures.

Jessica can simply turn off Fox News and go to the Al-Jazeera website to view the

opinions of people who may be having their culture and traditions threatened, all in

real-time. John, on the other hand, could have been influenced by propoganda during

the Vietnam war, a time when getting the opinions of an enemy's public was not as

readily available as it is today. This demonstrates a change between generations and

how that change may effect the perception people have of the world around them.

In closing, I feel that some things never change, such as the importance of

family and being able to provide financial support. These values are so engrained in our

society that it would take drastic change for them to be erased. However, there are

differences in how the various generations of people perceive the world they live in.
These differences can come about due to advancement of technology, the actions of

governments, the values of society, and many other factors. I can imagine the

grandfather from our happy meal outing having a hard time composing and sending an

email. Not because he lacks the intelligence to figure it out, but because it may just be

more convenient for him to send his correspondence the old fashioned way; through the

postal service.
bookerhost09:
To appease my youngest sons happy meal demands I have found myself eating

at McDonald's on several occasions as of late.

yuck.
Use an apostrophe to show possession.

Obviously frustrated, he exclaimed, "These darn things!", while tossing the phone back onto the table. At that moment the boy snatches the phone, answers it, and begins to have a conversation with an unknown party on the other end. --- right here you are switching from past to present tense in a way that would get you scolded by your English comp teacher.

Hey, I think this seems like a thoughtful discussion, but it is very simplistic. The idea of actually interviewing real people is that it will help you to go beyond this notion of kids being more tech savvy, older people being less open minded because of having become bitter, exposed to propaganda, etc., or because of not having so much access in their lives to the internet..... This is the obvious stuff, but you may be surprised to interview real people and see just how progressive old people can be and how prejudiced young people can be. The internet has been in widespread use for almost 20 years now, so it is a little different now.



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