‘The changing values and social outlook of Australians today’

Mar 09, 2021
Darn! Julie's phone was acting up. Source: Getty Images

“Drat!” I said to myself, in the agony of my phone malfunction. My smartphone was not acting so smart, or was it the phone owner? Being a silver surfer of my phone needing repair, I set off to the nearest Telstra shop, in the giant shopping complex nearby. It is a temple for consumers, so I joined the bustling throng, right as they opened. The early bird!

“Yes, do you need any help today?” asked some bright young thing, lip gloss blazing. Her name tag of sparkles said, ‘Montana’. I vented my pitiful tale of phone malfunction, not acting so smart. A male silver surfer strolled to queue up behind me, scoffing a hamburger.

“Disgusting!” Montana complained, gazing with soulful eyes at my phone’s interior. “Vegans should run this world. We should protest on A Current Affair.” As I was born to be diplomatic, I did not establish a silent steak protest in the middle of Telstra. I do need a phone.

As I agreed to buy a new phone, with another expensive plan, Montana chattered on about her new car; her plans to one day tour our world, after the pandemic; and her opinion of males of any age. Additionally, she did start recommending some vegan recipes, and the benefits of girlie love.

This took place while I was listening to understand the mysteries of my new smartphone. Bewildered, I headed off home.

When we were Montana’s age, it was considered groovy to smoke Marlboro cigarettes, and sunbake for brown legs. It was not in our scene to dine on alfalfa and sweet potato burgers.

Everything changes as society rolls on. Montana was the new breed of lively young thing, so glossy and smiling, all the while muttering to her Telstra cohorts, “Who gave these old blips phones?” Her next ageing client stepped up to the plate, to be scoffed on from a great digital height.

Of course, Montana made me recall my late mother, on a particularly bad hair day. One day, some time ago, her second husband was in a cardiac unit, ringing her non-stop. On the third day, as the saying goes, Mum answered, as I was visiting, “What do you want now? No, do not ask me. You are in a hospital, ask a nurse. I am your wife, an old nurse. Stop calling me on that phone!” Slam!

She groaned, “Who gave that old man a phone?”

Yes, it was just like Montana, working at Telstra, as well as all the other glossy teens. Arriving home, I called a younger hi-tech savvy teenager to visit to enlighten my phone despair. Inhabiting this digital world, my advice is, always ask a teenager, even a vegan lesbian one. Yes, this will keep me going to the next dump. Phone, anyone?

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Do you feel the values of today's youth have changed compared to when you were young?

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