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Debunking Common Youth Misconceptions About the Older Generations

Real vs Fake

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Generation gap often leads to stereotyping and false assumptions about the older generations. While we don’t consider these conventional images as something of substance, we can’t ignore the fact that these perceptions usually play a huge role in influencing the state of mind of an adult who’s about to enter his or her golden years. When this happens, confidence begins to waver and more questions begin to pop out of one’s head.

The truth of the matter is, older age is a true milestone that needs to be celebrated. So what’s the reality of life beyond 60? Here in this article, we will refute these stereotypical ideas and shed light about the truth of ageing.

Misconception #1: Seniors are less creative.

As one gets older, wits get duller—this may have been one of the biggest misconceptions about seniors. While it’s true that ageing does result in several cognitive changes, skills that are acquired based on knowledge and experience only gets better over time. There are so many real-life examples to discredit this idea. To tell you the truth, there are many celebrated personalities out there who only realised their calling later in life. One of the many examples includes Anna Mary Robertson Moses, dubbed as “Grandma Moses”, who only began taking her craft seriously at the age of 78. She held her first one-woman art show at 80 years old and continued to pursue painting at the age of 101.

Misconception #2: Seniors are too old for Facebook.

Baby Boomers, today’s youngest generation walking into their golden years, are more technologically savvy than we all think. As digital immigrants, this generation saw the development of technology with their very own eyes. The birth of the very first laptop, the beginning of the world wide web, and everything that goes after it. Millennials and Gen Zs may have been taken the throne as masters of social media, but the older generations are naturals when it comes to being adaptive to the fast-changing online world. In fact, 9.8% of global active Facebook users are people ages 55 and above.

Read: Social interaction through social media

Misconception #3: Seniors are less productive.

The idea of retirement often leads to the thought of unproductivity—a picture of a senior spending lazy days at home, reading the newspaper or watching the television from dawn to dusk. At least this is what we often see depicted by different forms of entertainment media. Although most of the senior population choose to leave the workforce as soon as they hit the required age, they turn out to be hardly unproductive. As a matter of fact, in a survey conducted by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, volunteerism within the senior age group in Singapore has gone up from 9% to 19% in 2016. This is only one of the many great ways to put one’s expertise into meaningful use, meet a new circle of friends, and even acquire new skills.

Read: Keeping up after retirement

Midlife is more colourful than we all think. It’s filled with new discoveries, amazing experiences, and incredible learning. It’s a great time to get to know oneself better, pursue passions that were previously put off, and meet new friends that you will treasure for the rest of your life. Begin this next journey in your life with gusto and enjoy the ride!

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