West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.


Kids, Things that bug me

I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that the “aught” generation is also the “passive communication” generation. They prefer to interact with each other via digital devices – cell phones, computers, etc. I’m finally getting used to my kids texting their friends to get answers to questions instead of calling them. And I’ll admit, I get more information and less attitude and eye rolling from my kids via text messages. Sigh.

But I’d like to suggest that we add another moniker: The “non-responsive” generation. Kids today (said in a cranky “get off my lawn” voice) neither give nor receive responses. It’s usually noticeable during the holidays – when gifts or cash are sent to out-of-state young relatives and they’re rarely acknowledged. Thank you notes or phone calls are, apparently, extremely painful. Too bad we’re not around to hear the exclamation “COOL!” when our packages/cards are opened. Sigh.

Recently, I noticed a similar trend in social media. In a couple of instances, I sent Facebook messages to kids who I thought did an amazing job in stage performances. No response at all. Not even a cursory “thanks” which would take exactly 5 seconds. Sigh.

In my own family (yes, I’m going to throw my kids under the bus), my text messages often go unanswered. I brought this up once and both my son and daughter looked at me like I was insane. “Why would I respond if you didn’t ask a question?” What I wanted to say was: “Because I’m your mother!” But I didn’t. Sigh.

Interestingly enough, the unresponsive generation is getting a taste of its own medicine. Job hunting is very different today. Many employers place blind ads and ask for no phone calls and for resumes to be sent via email. Even after in-person interviews, it’s not uncommon for job seekers to get no response at all. No rejection…nothing. No closure and no job. It’s infuriating. It’s as if their talents and skills were simply thrown into a black hole. But honestly, it doesn’t really bug them. It bugs me. Sigh.


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