5 Ways the Older Generation Is More Creative Than Millennials

Creativity may be an innate skill, but modern technology has arguably stifled much of it, especially for the current generation of youths. Of course, we’re not setting out to belittle the innovative talents of echo boomers. Although, in comparison to those who lived through the pre-Internet years, the older generation just might be more creative than the younger one – Below are five ways how.

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(Photo: DBAWIS)

#1 – Phone numbers

No one bothers to memorise phone numbers anymore. Just ask any smartphone-wielding member of Generation Y (or anyone living in the 21st century for that matter). On top of speed dial, modern times have granted us a digital phone book that allows us to retrieve any number of numbers at the speed of light without taking much physical space. A tap here and a tap there will magically conjure the eight numbers you seek.

Before technology made such leaps and bounds, us social creatures had to rely on brain power. Committing a string of random numbers (let alone two or more) to memory is undoubtedly not an easy task, so a bit of creativity was needed to ease the process. And even though physical phone books existed then, there’s always a chance they get accidentally left behind on the study desk. Besides, knowing the phone numbers of close friends and loved ones by heart shows how much they mean to you, and can even be considered a sign of endearment.



(Photo: inmobi)

#2 – Dating

These days, you can find a plethora of mobile apps dedicated specifically to match-making and meeting new people. There is the universally known, albeit potentially sleazy, Tinder. And then, there are the other lesser known varieties such as Bumble (Tinder’s sister app), LunchClick, Lunch Kaki, Peekawoo, Paktor, Happn, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, Blindfold, Badoo, OkCupid, Skout… you get the picture, the list goes on.

Even universities in Singapore are jumping on the bandwagon (a possible ploy to help keep the local gene pool intelligent?). What started out as a school assignment in 2015 led a group of National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduates to create Letterbox, a dating app for NUS students that allows users to send each other Would You Rather questions. Heck, you can even make a new friend and score a date on your standard social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). The bottomline is, getting a date has never been easier.


(Photo: 2Shopper)

During the pre-Internet era, however, when “social media” were two words that didn’t exist in the dictionary, you had to work much harder to strike up a conversation with a good-looking stranger. That means coming up with charming openers and pick-up lines on the spot, and figuring out ways to get the other person’s attention (e.g. pulling out the dance moves, etc…). Eventually, after being turned down one too many times, you learn to get creative, and pull your friends in to talk you up or set you up. Now, a single swipe is all it takes.



(Photo: Michelle Chong as Lu Lu via Huat Films via Channel News Asia)

#3 – Showing off

Whether it’s a new bag, jewellery, clothing, job, or simply a status-boosting announcement, you can’t deny the older generation is more well-versed in the subtle art of showing off. While millennials and social media junkies spend their waking hours posting pictures and status updates in an effort to humblebrag, the youth of yester-years would skillfully invite friends over to their place for a casual get-together, taking the chance to spruce up the interiors and display items of wealth and prosperity.

A rookie would point those things out, but a veteran would wait for others to notice. For instance, if you wanted to flaunt a new engagement ring or a gold chain, you would deliberately tuck your hair behind your ears, scratch your nose, or fan yourself with your shirt near the collar – basically bring attention to a specific part of your body without being too obvious.



(Photo: “Country Erasers” game via Of Kids and Education)

#4 – Games

With a trove of downloadable gaming apps at the disposal of kids today, analogue forms of entertainment have become obsolete. From Pokémon Go to Candy Crush Saga, these online and mobile games can keep teenagers entertained for hours as long as they have a functioning cellphone.

Gone are the days when folks relied on innovation to make up their own games out of everyday items. Remember the eraser game (photo above), a variation of kuti kuti, where the goal was to flip your eraser so it lands on top of your opponent’s? How about the one that used rubber bands to create an endless variety of shapes? Don’t forget those classic hand clapping games (e.g. Long Chiam Pas and Hei Bai Pei), and playground running games (e.g. Catching, Crocodile and Police and Thief). They are as simple as it gets, yet still endlessly entertaining.



(Photo: What’s On My Blackboard)

#5 – Problem solving

In the past, there was no Google, no search engines that provided information at the drop of a hat. If you’ve got a problem that needs fixing, chances are you’ll have to figure it out yourself. Folks from the older generation also tended to teach themselves things, from swimming or riding a bicycle, to starting a business. They also had the creative capacity to design their own DIY projects like turning magazine pages into makeshift trash containers. With the advent of Pinterest, the crafting projects millennials take on are no longer original.

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