Surfers have a nickname for guys like myself. Gray beards. We are the guys filling the line-up with longboards. Soulful. Artful. Just out for the ride but it is the grommet who gets it. A grom shows up with a shortboard ready to slash on a waves notice. He's got a cell phone and texting his friend on current conditions.
Youth isn't immortal as I have learned. And my soon-to-be 44-year old bones tend to creak just a little. The long board alternative is cool but the real developments, the cutting edge stuff, is grom territory.
Ham radio, on the other hand, is moving into gray beard territory. It's not a bad thing. It is what it is. And the swing into the mid-life demographic is cool as well. And coming to terms with the gray bearding of ham radio is important.
One might ask, "Why so KA3DRR?"
I believe, it is time to reach an understanding, the Millenial (1980-1994) or Generation Y, does not get ham radio and will not get ham radio into the future. And accepting this idea is not a bad idea either.
Certainly, I do not bemoan Millenials some but not unprecedented numbers will join ham radio in the forthcoming decades. The question might be, "How will I address the downsizing of ham radio as life marches toward retirement?"
I'm asking this question because it is important too me.
Wikipedia On Millenial or Generation Y.
- "Millennials, like other generations, are shaped by the events, leaders, developments and trends of its time."
- "They have been labeled the "sandwich generation" because so many remain home well into their 20s right at the time that their own parents are needing more care."
- "Generation Y are thought to have more in common with the Federation Generation (1901-1924) than any other generation. This is because both generations are defined as “Civics”, and these people are characterised as wealth creators and nation builders."
- 97% own a computer.
- 94% own a cell phone.
- 76% use instant messaging.
I was blown away by the percentages and one might wonder where a Millenial might find time. The trend of the current times is social networking. Texting is the method of choice and cell phones are the device. Market penetration is probably unquestionable and a juggernaut to confront. For me, technology is embedded into the psyche of the Millenial, and understanding this concept is a good beginning.
- "More than 80% of the growth in the number of households in the next five years will be among those headed by people 55 and older."
- "Two age groups -- 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 (together about 47 million households) -- have the highest number of dual-earner married couples, and they account for almost half (49%) of total U.S. consumer spending."
- "As these two age groups shrink in the next five years (by as much as 1 million households), a larger share of future increases in consumer spending may have to come from those high-growth households headed by someone 55 or older."
The gray bearding of ham radio is not a bad thing. But failing to grasp its implications is another. Read KE9V's Number 16 for a better explanation.