Having been raised in an era of computers, internet, and cell phones, GenY is hard wired for technology. According to nielson.com, when asked what made our generation unique, Millennials actually ranked “technology use” number one among other identifying characteristics of our generation. And while it may be true that we are technologically inclined or, as many articles claim “the most tech savvy generation to date,” I have to wonder- what does that even mean? Is there a disparity between the perceived and realistic ability behind our technology use?
As an example, a few weeks into my new job I was thrilled to be finally diving into the work after a long onboarding process. Assignment number 1: “Megan, would you please help me with my deck?” I looked like a deer in the headlights. What is a deck? He placed his computer in front of me and I saw that he was working on a presentation for an upcoming event. Oh, okay sure, a deck must be a presentation. I quickly realized it was in Keynote, a program I had never heard of nor seen before and had no clue how to use. I silently trekked on and after many mistakes and countless clicks, figured it out.
As another more recent example I was communicating with a gentleman (either an Xer or a Boomer) for work who mentioned that he and his team were producing a television show and that we should check it out. Naturally I became interested but when the reality of my life settled in (I don’t really watch TV, do I even have that channel? I wonder what my schedule will look like that day) my immediate go to was plan b: how else can I access that show? I asked if they would be streaming it online and his response had me smiling. “Great question. I assume you watch TV online, you are a #Millennial Rah!” Fair enough, our reputation does precede us. Or does it? Truth be told, I do not think I do know how to stream shows online… but I am confident that since it is something I want to watch, I can absolutely figure it out.
I have run into scenarios like the above so many times I could not count them. Where I am presented with some technology issue that I have no clue what to do with nor how to use yet generations above me seem to believe the opposite. And while I am so flattered by the confidence, I feel like I have to be honest here. Tech savvy? I am not sure about that. Curious, capable, and willing to click around? Now that is probably more realistic.
What do you think? Are we truly “tech savvy” as our reputation suggests or is it more like “tech capable”?