Beloit College Mindset List: The internet is older than college freshmen


Then there’s OJ Simpson. These students were still in diapers when the former NFL star began searching for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

“Hmm, I know there was some scandal about him,” said Alex Keesey, 18, an incoming freshman from Beloit. “I think it was robbery or murder, maybe both.”

Comments like that can be a little jarring to older folks who imagine that everyone knows about the Simpson murder trial and subsequent acquittal. But if the generation gap has you down, get used to it.

The list’s authors note that technology has only accelerated the pace of change and further compressed the generational divide.

Older Americans who read previous Mindset Lists felt that life was moving too quickly, list author Ron Nief said, and now even younger people share that sentiment.

“I talk to people in their early 30s and they’re telling me they can’t keep up with all the advances,” Nief said.

Nief’s co-author, English professor Tom McBride, predicts the trend will only accelerate.

“If you look at the jump from email to texting, or from email to Facebook, it’s been faster than the jump from typing to computers,” McBride said. “These generational gaps are getting smaller.”