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The Sandwich Generation Tech Privilege and Living Through the Technology Revolution

AI-generated image showing a man looking at a tablet computer while his head is literally overflowing with technology
Midjourney: A mind with half its thoughts filled with technology from the 70s and 80s and the other half filled with technology from 2007 and later

If you were born between 1965 and 1990 then congratulations, because you are in the current Sandwich Generation, unique in human history for living through the technology revolution – being old enough to remember what modern life was like before the advent of computers and the internet, but young enough to have had a fighting chance to learn how to use them.

That’s definitely me. Born in ‘77, I’m about as sandwich as it gets. I remember when microwaves were novel (and suspicious), and when having a phone installed in your car was a serious status symbol. And I clearly remember the first time I ever used a mouse to draw on a computer screen. It was the first Macintosh, and the experience was absolute magic! I learned to use technology as it arrived, all new and shiny.

Though my formal education attempted to teach us about computers, it was all moving too fast for them to really keep up. And so most of us Gen X’ers and some Millennials learned to use technology on our own, because we had to or wanted to. We were young enough to be unafraid of having a go and just figuring it out. And though the internet revolution it didn’t begin until we were in our teens or 20’s, it was all new enough to jump on board.

For those younger than us, this stuff was always around. And so they began learning it from the get-go, and the first true digital natives were born.

For all of us in the middle and top of the sandwich, the future was bright and exciting. Technology was fun!

But one person’s tale of hope is another’s prophecy of doom…

I’ll write about that next time.


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