Reentry — Generation X vs The Zoomers

Saoire O' Brien
6 min readAug 23, 2021

How the generational gap gives the word different outcomes.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Reentry: what a loaded word in today's times! By definition “the action or process of re-entering something”. To me, the first thing that enters my mind is, reentry into society after this pandemic and suddenly, the word is loaded full of hurdles. Social anxiety after having stayed at home for 18+ months. Returning to work, getting used to new routines, forming new habits and dropping old ones, learning to navigate the ‘new norm’. The list goes on even down to the very simple and mundane…putting on makeup again, wearing uncomfortable clothes, and pretending that I can keep up with the fast pace of society and my pre-pandemic life, while all at the same time falling apart inside!

When I presented my 14 year old with the same writing challenge that I was going to do and told him the four key words…Death, Work, Reentry and Space…it was the word reentry that sparked his imagination. So much so, that he texted me in the middle of the night, with a story that came to him and he couldn’t sleep till he had it written down.

The Facebook message read, “This is just a story I wrote at 3am 😂not the greatest but I had to get up and write it because I thought of it”

The story has a hero, in this case, Mark Zuckerberg and it has a bad guy, who did his time and now was looking to re-enter society. The story concludes with a happy ending with the bad guy, through the act of kindness getting his second chance!

It makes me so proud and I see this as being very positive for the future and our next generation. The hero might be slightly questionable for some, but please take into account that we live right next to one of the biggest Facebook centers in the world and putting someone in jail for 47 years for attempted murder is unlikely, but I don’t really believe my son was reflecting upon the jail sentence, or that after serving 47 years it’s likely this person was nearing retirement age, and all the associated difficulties of going, from life imprisonment to CEO for one of the biggest tech giants in the world after been kind enough to help someone move a box…not anyone but someone who was about to become the 5th richest man in the world!

Saoire O' Brien