It’s sort of an office joke, here at LaunchSquad, that I am a “Digital Native” – yes, that really is the punchline. Those of us born between 1982-2001 also answer to “Millennial” and “Generation Y” and occasionally, since we can still manage it, we participate in the multi-generational phase of “disenfranchised youth.”
I find that I don’t really relate to my generation since I hardly exceed five text messages a day, I generally rely on my sense of direction rather than an iPhone when I get lost, and prefer to meet new people in person rather than on Facebook – call me old-fashioned. This could probably sound like denial on my part, except that I don’t feel resentment toward my generation because while, collectively, it may look like we have nothing to offer, we are a mighty force in consumer and technology trends. And I kind of like that.
According to a 2006 USA Today article, Generation Y usurped the Baby Boomers as the most influential group to retailers, citing a statistic that 13-21 year olds influence more than 80% of their family’s apparel purchases and over half of their car purchases. How does this happen? Well, it could be that we’re the most brand-conscious, information-driven generation yet.
As far as Generation Y in the workforce? Earlier this year, an episode of 60 Minutes entitled The Age Of The Millennials asserted that members of this generation are exceptionally tech-savvy and are especially tuned to their own value in the job market. We’re a good generation to have around in tech and media dilemmas. In a world of infinite access to news everywhere, thank god that the media’s driven by a generation with an attention span shorter than a Jonas Brother.
And despite all of the negative things we’ve pioneered, like cyber bullying and the incorporation of text message abbreviations into our vernacular – contributions that might not be so memorable – we must be recognized for an increasingly established global trend: Online Oxygen. According to trendwatching.com, “Online Oxygen,” is, essentially, the idea that constant and convenient Web access is seen as an “absolute necessity” to a global degree and there’s no slowing of the integration of the internet and daily life.
Oh, SNAP! Our greatest contribution to technology is our demand for it. We multi-task better than any generation, simultaneously downloading music, sending e-mails, updating micro-blog feeds and ordering new running shoes all on the way to the gym. Our information addiction is fed by our dealer – gadgets and smart-phones always on our person – iAppendages, really. Instant access to a wealth of information keeps us clever, resourceful, ambitious and demanding.
Originally posted at here, LaunchSquad’s Exclamation blog.