Social (Media) Security

29Aug14

stop_town_land_giveawayIs there a “generation gap” in Wakefield? That’s what I’m hearing, especially on Facebook where all the cool kids hang out.

The term itself sounds so last century. It used to be applied to the cultural differences between the ‘60s kids and their parents. But now, word on the street is that there are issues in Wakefield, Massachusetts that are dividing the citizenry along generational lines.

Was it really a generation gap that separated those who wanted an assisted living facility/parking garage from those who didn’t?

Family DollarIs it generational that some think it might not be the end of civilization if a Dollar Store – as opposed to, say, a cheese shop – were to occupy the old CVS building?

Does it all ultimately come down to how we get our information? Is it really the old, paper technology crowd vs. the hip, young electronic media crowd? The tree-killers vs. the tree-huggers, if you will? Do these things really break down by age, and is it really particular to Wakefield?

And finally, am I asking too many questions?

In my view, attributing everything to generational differences is too simplistic. You’d need a crowbar to pry the smart phones out of the hands of some senior citizens, while plenty of young people still prefer the tactile experience of paper if they’re reading anything longer than a text message.

And don’t all ages like cheese and occasionally buying cheesy things for a dollar?

Some are bound to disagree with me, especially you whippersnappers on the Facebook and the Twitter. Watch your step sonny – I’d get up and throw my clicker at you if the damned lumbago weren’t acting up.
civic_center2
In any case, I’ve compiled a short test to help you determine where you fall on the Wakefield Generation Gap spectrum.

You’re showing your age if you still call the building on Main Street between the new CVS and the Galvin Middle School “The Armory.”

And you’re probably cashing Social Security checks (don’t trust that newfangled direct deposit) if you remember when alano was Parke Snow.

On the other hand, you might still be wet behind the ears if you think North Avenue was named after a band.

You could be a codger if you remember when the Independence Day Parade snaked through the West Side.

pleasure_island_entrance2And you might be a little long in the tooth if you recall when every house in town had an incinerator in the back yard and everybody burned their own trash.

But you could be suffering from an age deficit if you think Pleasure Island was a local massage parlor.

You’ve definitely been on the line for a while if you remember Wakefield’s Crystal-9 telephone exchange.

And you may qualify for the town’s Senior Tax Work-off Program if you learned to swim in Lake Quannapowitt.

green_lakeOn the other hand, you might have been born yesterday if you think the Lake’s natural color is pea soup green.

There’s a good chance you’re approaching your golden years if you remember when the current High School on Farm Street was the Junior High School.

And you’re at least wearing reading glasses if you once did your food shopping in the Mike’s Gym building.

Speaking of food, time to hop in the DeSoto and head downtown. I hear there’s an early bird special at the Hazelwood Cottage.

[This column originally appeared in the August 28, 2014 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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2 Responses to “Social (Media) Security”

  1. 1 Bronwyn

    No, Mark, there is no more a generational gap in Wakefield than there is anywhere else. But your piece sure did make me smile – and more than once.

  2. 2 Caryn

    I went to the junior high school on Farm St before it was the high school and then I went to the high school on Main St before it was the middle school. I think I should just yell “You kids get offa my lawn!” 😀


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