Traditional Social Norms are Constantly Changing

Meghan Rogers, Staff Writer

When talking to anyone older than you, at some point in the conversation some kind of “when I was your age” topic will probably come around. You may roll your eyes, but really, cultural norms can change drastically in just a couple of years.

For the first time, an NBA player came out as homosexual to the public. Just 15 years ago, this wouldn’t have been imaginable. Very few people came out as homosexual because of fear of the reception of the masses at the time. However, slowly but surely, gay rights are becoming more and more noticeable. Gay marriage was initially proposed in the first decade of the 21st century and has persisted until now. As of April 2013, 11 countries, several sub-national jurisdictions, and 12 U.S. states have legalized gay marriage. This has been a huge leap for gay rights and marriage equality around the world.

Fifty years ago, women often got married in their 20s or straight after high school. Few women went to college and instead became housewives. However, more women graduate from college than men, and more and more women are getting married in their 30s and 40s because of their studies and careers.

Currently, women are quickly dominating medical careers and are predicted to outnumber men in them. Stereotypical “male” jobs, such as engineers and scientists, are becoming more populated by women. This is because of the increasing opportunities offered to women. Women were rarely engineers or scientists because they were never encouraged to be so.

As of January 2013, women can now serve on the frontlines in the military. Before this, women were able to hold high rank and be pilots, but never before were they fighting alongside men in battle. Now with the equal encouragement and jobs available, women have been able to show their true potential in a diverse array of careers.

Students have undoubtedly been given their fair shares of “you’re so dependent on your computer” from older generations. And it’s true; compared to older generations we really are. The first digital computer was invented in 1937, however it did not have the Internet, which was invented in 1993. It was not the computer that changed technology, but the Internet – giving access to all the wonders of the world with a touch of a button. The availability of such extensive knowledge was never accessible to older generations. Even though they were well versed in library research and could get a great deal of information from a book, they were not able to find those small happenings across the world. Anyone from older generations who complains about the present generation of children’s dependency on their technology could be right, or they could just be lamenting the past. The easiness in finding information encourages the pursuit of knowledge more so than having to look through endless books to find the information you want.

However, the daily use of computers is not always a good thing. The fact that you can pretty much do anything from behind a computer screen can create a sense of detachment that can be difficult to overcome. Often times, workers do not know their coworkers or even their boss because they work from a computer at home. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer recently banned all work from home because of this reason. The sense of community formed from working side by side generates some of the best ideas and makes last-minute meetings easier to organize.

Norms change with each generation – often times for both the better and the worse. Each generation has its balance of pluses and minuses and brings its own factors and inventions to the world.