Sean talks to his match about the differences between them and their values caused by the differences in their cultures and generations. He also discusses the impact of American values and how media and modern technology play a role in individualism.
I don't think the biggest difference between us, if I'm being honest, is our age. I think our difference is a lot of our upbringing. Which we talked a lot about the difference in how in Russia there is no concept of privacy, but to me privacy is one of my most fundamental things, one of the most fundamental concepts that America has is privacy, everyone I know is obsessed with it, every person I consider to be in a different generation from myself especially - my parents loves their privacy, it's just such a fundamental thing in America.
I think that our cultural differences from you growing up in the Soviet Union are the big differences between us. But the older generation, if we are talking about the American generation, is so different from people like myself. I think the older American population is very very individualistic. I think at times, this is an experience I have with a lot of people in older generations. Their thought process is “me first, me first, me first.” it's a product of the society they grew up in. In America for society, the cold war was going on and America had to be the pinnacle of the top. How do you get to the top? - You work hard! That is where the health concept of pulling yourself by your bootstraps comes from in America, which I don’t really believe in. I just think the older generation just has this idea that individualism is more important than having a community or having different world views. I think that I see that a lot in my life that it is - well I need to help myself first before I can help anyone else first, I think that comes into the American economy, and I think the American economy is run by the older generation. It is not run by people my age, this individualism leads to a lot of dangerous concepts in America too.
We look at the failures of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the individualism that people didn't wear masks, it was their body, they didn't have to wear a mask - to hell with if they gave another person COVID, if they wanted to get COVID that was their prerogative. I think that that was such an awful and dangerous ideology and I think it led to a lot of divisions in the country based on that.
The biggest difference between the generations is that my generation tends to have more of a holistic world view, we look at the world as a community rather than the older generation looking at themself first whereas my generation looks at other people first. I don't necessarily think that my generation is more compassionate or caring, I think my generation has access to resources that this generation didn't have growing up. In my generation, if I wanted to reach out to someone in Russia, or the Middle East or Europe, I could do that if I wanted to, I could. I think that comes with a lot of, I'm not so different from this other person. Social connectedness on social media and text comes with a lot of drawbacks, there are a lot of dangers to it. I think one of the best things it has done for my generation is connected the world and made the world a smaller place and shown people that we are more human and more alike than we thought we were. My upbringing really got this idea of “you are different from other people around the world, you are very very different” but then growing up I have had instagram twitter, everything at my fingertips and then I realize - oh no I'm not that different. We all had a lot of the same childhood experiences, we all lived in the same cultures and even if we didn't live in the same culture, you are still human and you still have this - I should still care about this person even though we are different and come from a different culture.