Friday, November 14, 2008

The So-Called Millennials

They call them "Millennials" and they tell us that they are the "first generation to grow up with the Internet." While this may be true, I would argue that they are less equipped for our digital world than generations past.

The first generation to be introduced to the telephone understood party lines, tone dialing, and long distance operators (yes, I am showing my age.) The next generation simply picked up the handset and pushed the buttons -- and it worked.

The first generation to be introduced to the television understood rabbit antennas, UHF versus VHF, and snow on the screen after midnight. The next generation keyed some numbers on a remote -- and it worked.
  • If you belong to the Millennial generation, tell me what you think. Do you worry about the expectations of future employers with respect to your technology savvy?
  • If you work with the Millennials, tell me about your experiences. Did they have the skills you expected them to have?
Photo Credit: Mike McGregor Photography


Allie Osmar said...

I think it's very safe to say that the "millennial generation" does not actually know the ins and outs of the workings of technology any more than generations before - I think this generation just has a different way of using these technologies to connect with each other.

Our company just put in place a reverse mentorship program for "young people" to teach senior staff how they use the Internet and other technologies to connect. In this case, I don't think it has so much to do with the senior staff having a poor grasp on the technology as it has to do with understanding the core differences between how different age groups interact.

dknoxxx said...

Good points all around. I think it is a collective societal progression in which we are now in the teenage years. The important part is to understand the value of the new age and how it impacts us personally and professionally.

What's the biggest change? Is it technology or what technology has afforded us? Probably the last.

Cassandra said...

Although the majority of us are definitely not IT geniuses, I think we know how to harness the tools to basically teach ourselves.

If we want to learn how to do something, whether it's a web programming language or just how to use a piece of technology like an iPod, we know where to look (online).

We couldn't necessarily become experts or professionals, but we might learn how to do it better than some just by reading some online tutorials or watching a Youtube video.

If we get to work and we know how to use Excel, but maybe we don't know how to perform a certain function in it that we need to do for our job, it wouldn't be as difficult for us to figure out how compared to older generations.

I think that's the most important difference, along with the communication aspect of millennials using technology.