Is Gen-Y Getting Sick of Tech?

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Entertainment/Media, Life As We Know It!, Youth Culture & Trends
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I was talking with a couple young 20-somethings recently about life, sports, culture…your basic chit-chat among adults. The conversation got pretty interesting when a bunch of teenagers walked by during their lunch hour…all of them in front of the pizza place they were waiting in line for, and all of them (except one girl) busy texting and/or surfing the web on their phones.  What I heard next was completely surprising to me…after taking a couple of jabs at the teens attached to their phones (and detached from each other), the Gen Y‘ers I was with said they were getting sick of all the technology coming out!  Bam!

Now these are the same young adults that proceeded to check their own i-phones before they left, and then plugged them into their car stereo systems…so they’re not that sick of tech I guess!  But what they did comment on was that they were getting tired of all the so-called devices that are supposed to make our lives simpler, yet seem to add more complexity.  All those marketers trying to sell us on being forever connected has actually created a disconnected generation…I’ve dubbed this ‘Close proximity Disconnection‘…having access to the world around us, yet it causes us to ignore the world right in front of us!

Anywho, the aforementioned conversation with my friends confirmed assertions (like below) that I read about in a June 6th Media Post story titled Is Gen Y Sick of Tech?  

They are not happy about where the world is going, and they are suspicious of digital technology. More than half of them think everyone should stop sharing personal thoughts and experiences online; they believe society needs to reestablish its privacy boundaries.”  ~quote from source article~

It’s not that Gen Y doesn’t appreciate, or even grossly consume the latest advancements in technology.  It’s just that one of the most cynical and critical generations ever is now becoming critical and cynical of their own generational accomplishments.

While only 10 percent said they believe digital technology will have a negative effect overall on the world, a much bigger percentage said they felt the jury is still out: 42 percent believe it’s too soon to tell. Half the sample worries that digital technology and multitasking are impairing our ability to think deeply and to concentrate on one task at a time. Around two-thirds believe society has become too shallow, focusing too much on things that don’t really matter.”  ~quote from source article~

So what does this mean in the grand scheme of things?  Well Gen Y’ers…you have an opportunity to blaze a trail of influence to all those Gen Z‘s running behind you at a frenetic pace.

You’ve led the creative, cause-oriented and consumer charge to go places no one has gone before, but have also opened many doors to places that really led to no where, but made people think they really wanted (and needed) to go there.

You’ve got the opportunity to encourage the continued networking of ideas and resources to further technological adventures.  But you have an opportunity to engage the most visible and ‘connected’  media generation that still craves to be even more visible while they ask the question “Can You See Me Now?

You have the opportunity, and I would say responsibility (along with us Gen X’ers), to restore face-to-face, authentic, transparent relationships as the primary and preferred means of communication.  Online communication is an awesome tool, but it’s just that…a tool.  And if the second-guessing and criticism Gen Y’ers are exhibiting towards the mobile generation are accurate, then maybe…just maybe we can spend more time looking each other in the eye, instead of looking at the keypad!

  1. Interesting point, but I am not sure that gen Y’ers will have a choice in the long run. If they want to keep up careers or be able to interact with the younger generation who have embraced tech wholeheartedly, they will need to stay on the tech train!

    • Good point, and I don’t disagree…but I don’t think it needs to be a decision to stay on or jump off the ‘tech train.’ That train is going to keep moving, and to an extent, we’ll have to at least have a ticket in hand and enjoy (or endure) the ride every now and then.

      I think it has more to do with maintaining healthy boundaries and priorities…the struggle between what is good, and what is better. Just because we see the ‘what is’ in culture, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what ‘ought to be.’

      It won’t be an easy struggle…I guess that’s why ‘they’ call it a struggle!

  2. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    I like the term “close proximity disconnection” – clever. I like to use “absent presence.” 🙂 Interesting about Gen Y. I think those of us not in our 20s have been forced to learn the tech revolution, or we’d have been left behind. But I’m a Gen X, and I’m on the fence. I don’t like it when I can’t walk away from work without literally putting my phone on silent and leaving it in another room…yet it’s opened so many doors for me I can’t hate it! 🙂 Probably most of us feel that way.

    • I hear ya…the demand to be in the loop of anything tech can be daunting and burdensome…yet at the same time it provides so many opportunities that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

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