The Rot’s Set In: Boomers Have Become Zoomers
On Sunday, Virginia Trioli (known in media circles as ‘Vitrioli’) appeared on ABC’s ‘Insiders’ and asserted that the economy had changed forever because people had learned the benefits of digitization. She implied this was a good thing. Wrong! What people have learned is how to clog the bandwidth with useless activities at the expense of productivity.
Since baby boomers have discovered Zoom they are starting their day with a morning Tai Chi or Zumba class on Zoom. Following this, they doff their ‘tracky-daks’ and go on a joint tour of the Louvre or the Museum of Modern Art after which they have a Zoom discussion of the tour. Following lunch, it is time for a Zoom game of bridge followed by a Zoom drinks party where everybody opens a bottle of white wine. After dinner, it’s time to settle in with the partner and watch Netflix.
What do the blokes do while this is going on? They are outside with their whipper snippers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers polluting the atmosphere with noise and carbon monoxide.
This is all designed to disturb those people who are trying to do some serious work from home. That is if they can find some solitude away from their kids who need help with their distance learning. If they want to communicate with their work colleagues, good luck! The bandwidth is all being used by the boomer zoomers and the teenagers on Tik Tok.
In the circumstances, why bother working: better to go for a long bike ride or take the dog for a walk and get rid of the residual stress.
What digitization has meant is that most people are ‘flat out, not working” as the famous playwright Tom Stoppard described it. At the moment this doesn’t matter because the government is printing money to pay people to do nothing. Many workers are happy for this to continue for the next six months: $750 is plenty of money if you don’t have to pay the costs of going to work.
It is getting harder to find an IT contractor who wants to work at the moment. They are happy at home playing online games. Their home IT bills are tax-deductible and they can order home delivery from their favorite café. This is making it harder for people who want to do productive work but cannot get their communications to work. When the system breaks down there are fewer technicians to get things up and running.
Scott Morrison is optimistic that he can get the economy up and running in the very near future. But there is a good chance that many people will want things to stay as they are, with a slight relaxation in the social distancing rules. This is much the way it is in South Australia where grandchildren are able to visit their grandparents but the teachers don’t want to let kids go back to school because they may threaten the lives of the staff members, even though the medical advice is that this cannot happen. Teachers have a point, why should they be working when everybody else is doing nothing.
In the meantime, the boomers are doing their best to have a good time, now that they can no longer go on cruises. Mind you, cruises in 2021 are fully booked so boomers don’t see any problem with sailing away after Christmas. But they don’t need to wait: they can go on a virtual tour now and have a fancy dress drinks party by Zoom afterward.