Mention Amazon to the incoming class of college freshmen and they are more likely to think of shopping than the South American river. PC doesn’t stand for political correctness and breaking up on Facebook is more common than any more personal encounter.
These are among the 75 references on this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, a compilation intended to remind teachers that college freshmen born mostly in 1993 see the world in a much different way: They fancied pogs and Tickle Me Elmo toys as children, watched televisions that never had dials and their lives have always been like a box of chocolates.
Once upon a time, relatives of the current generation swore never to trust anyone over the age of 30. This group could argue: Never trust anyone older than the net.
The college’s compilation, released Tuesday, is assembled each year by two officials at the private school in southeastern Wisconsin. It also has evolved into a national phenomenon, a cultural touchstone that entertains even as it makes people wonder where the years have gone.
Remember when the initials LBJ referred to President Lyndon B. Johnson? Today, according to the list, they make teenagers think of NBA star LeBron James. And speaking of NBA legends, these kids didn’t want to be like Mike. They fawned over Shaq and Kobe.
In their lifetimes, Major League Baseball has always had three divisions plus wild-card playoff teams, and every state has always observed Martin Luther King Day.
The “yadda, yadda, yadda” generation that’s been quoting Seinfeld since they were old enough to talk also has always seen women serve as U.S. Supreme Court justices and command U.S. Navy ships.