Monday, November 10, 2014

Those Krazy Kids these Days

      I grew up in an era that had some unique challenges.  While it was America, the land of both freedom and plenty, my coming of age was in the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s.  There was unrest about the Vietnam War.  There were social movements for minority rights and feminism.  The ecology movement got its start then. We also had something called the Generation Gap.  We were the first TV generation.  We were part of the post World War II baby boom that for sure had a silver spoon in our mouths.  We took a lot of the 1950s and early 60s rhetoric seriously.  We felt part of a modern age where anything was possible.  Those ideals, optimism, and “wanting it now” had us focusing on things that were not aligned with the values and wants of our parents generation in those days.  I even wrote about this back in November, 2008 in a post called Was it the Weirdest Times?  
      There are always generational issues.  “Kids these days don’t know how easy they have it,” has probably been uttered by people my age for ages.   The same goes for the younger saying, “OK here we go again, another sermon on how easy we have it these days.”  
      I just heard and read news stories this week about things young people are doing that caught my by surprise.  It is nothing about work ethic.  It is not about expectations or even a new generation gap.  I was just surprised by the reports because I was unaware of the trends.  They are as follows:
  1. Per the New York Times, millennials are not necessarily owning TVs and not subscribing to cable television at the levels of older generations
  2. A recent story on NPR, explored why millennials are ignoring voicemail.
     OK then.  What is happening?  Let’s start with TV.  I thought TV was an American icon.  I already admitted that I
am part of the first generation raised with television.  There was never a thought that it would go away, and it is not going away now.  It is simply becoming more personal, viewed on pad and computers more so that on “TV sets” by the millennial generation.  Cable is expensive and TVs take up valuable space in dorms and first apartments.  So, millennials are moving toward on-demand services like netflix and watching these on-demand shows on their pads.  From an economic standpoint, the cable providers are pricing themselves out of the marketplace.
     The also think that voicemail is passé.  They would clearly rather text than be bothered with all the extra keystrokes and time lags required to retrieve a voice mail.  With all of the social media available these days, there is only so much any person can attend too.  Voicemail clearly does not make the top 3 or 5 mode of social media or social interaction for most young folks.  While this may be the case, that may change when they enter the job market and deal with older colleagues who still use and value voice mails.
     There is a certain practicality to young people.  As they will define future it makes all the sense to pay attention to where they are trending.  
     Have a comment on all this?  Text me as the kid in me is done with voicemail!

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