There’s a lot of things I don’t like about the “millennial” generation, or whatever the hell it is we’re calling those kids these days, but I tend to track them on technology use. This is an interesting article speaking of the decline of voicemail, especially among younger people. (via Insty). As someone who’s never liked phones, I could not be more pleased. I do almost all of my communication via iChat and texting these days, except when I need to talk to old people who don’t text.
There are other generational differences in technology use too, which I’ve noticed, both in workplaces and in my personal life. One is printing. I actually own two printers, but I very rarely, if ever, print anything. Most of the baby boomers I’ve worked with, if they want to read a paper, will send it to the printer. I do almost all of my reading electronically.
Baby boomers fairly readily adopted e-mail as a communication medium, which I think that’s probably the next technology likely to be rejected by the young, if it hasn’t been already. I’ve gotten rather indifferent toward e-mail as a medium. I still use the work e-mail systems, but I’m absolutely horrible about reading and responding to e-mails. Part of the problem with e-mail is that spammers have largely ruined the medium. Spam filtering is getting better, but it’ll never be perfect, and there’s nothing more annoying than having someone ask you about an urgent e-mail, only to find it in your spam folder.
Of course, that’s not to say there’s not a difference between me (a Gen Xer) and the Millennials. I’m typing this on a desktop computer with two 23 inch monitors. Desktops, I think, are becoming something lame old people use. The kids these days seem to love their thin laptops with 13 inch displays. I don’t know how they can get any work done in 13 inches. I have a laptop too, but it has a 15 inch display, an ethernet port, and a DVD drive, and much of the time when I use it, it’s at a desk hooked up to a big 24″ monitor.
What other generational shifts do you all see in technology use?