Millennials, Gen-Z and Door Knockers

In case you weren’t aware, Millennials and Generation-Z (hereinafter referred to as “da yut”), on the whole, do not feel comfortable using doorbells, door knockers, and telephones. And before you feel the urge to point out that getting one of them to let go of their mobile for a split second is like prizing a thing out of a very tight thing, the fact that we still call them “mobile phones” is an anachronism; da yut do not make telephone calls with them.

To da yut, the smartphone is the gateway to their real lives. I’m not going to try to go on about the whole nature of reality and virtual reality because there are entire university departments dedicated to that stuff, and I haven’t got a clue. But one thing I have noticed is that their attitude to phone calls and doorbells is based on a simple and logical difference between them and us: they prefer asynchronous communication. We never had the choice.

To da yut, a phone call is rude and annoying. Someone has the audacity to interrupt whatever you are doing and demand attention, right there and then, because it’s convenient for them! And I tend to agree – why would you interrupt someone, unless it was an absolutely dire emergency? If it’s not critical, why would you not just send a message instead? That way, when they have time and are less distracted, they can deal with it.

So, why do we put up with it? Well, because it’s all we had, and we grew up thinking it was normal. It’s the same reason we feel like music should come on plastic discs and that people phoning radio stations to make requests is a reasonable thing to do. We’re just set in our ways.

Confronted with a the closed front-door of a friend, da yut are far more likely to text the occupant than do something aggressive like ring a bell. Why alert the entire house to your presence when it’s just your friend you want to see?

Yesterday, I spied through the window someone standing by my front door. I realised my phone was on silent and that this must be the Go-Puff delivery driver, so I opened the door and there was a young lad, furiously texting me on his phone.

“I still don’t feel comfortable just going up and knocking on people’s doors.” he said. “I’d be like ‘why are you hitting my house?'”

And he surely has a point.


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