One of my Sunday joys (or Saturdays, depending on which day I have free) is filtering through my RSS feeds. It’s quite like reading a newspaper, until I realised the importance of “what is the future going to be like” with the Internets and technology changing everybody’s lives? Here are a couple random thoughts that spewed out. Anybody who takes a look at this and says `too long, didn’t read` just emphasizes my point.
The Gen-Y Workplace
For people who don’t quite know what’s going on, apparently (in a really dumbed down nutshell) Gen-Y is the cool new word to identify people brought up in the world of technology – which is pretty much the whole of the current generation. These folks are armed with social networking systems, instant messaging, live video streams, podcasts and Wikipedia on their cell.
Apparently these guys will make our previous systems obsolete and bring about new ideas to the workforce, ZDNet puts these out as:
The new way people communicate with each other is not through tight control and personal interest but through the likes of a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. They’re saying only through building a forever communicating community will an environment be created that these Gen-Y people can work in. Yes, I see the effects already: `how r u?` `nm, u?`. Face it – no wait, Facebook – we have the most utterly boring status updates in the world. `I am eating a delicious sandwich.` `I am reading a book and it’s giving me a seizure.`. Yes. Sure. We’re all meant to let them roam free and expect them to behave.
Instead of critiquing the rest of the `new ideas`, I’ll let you think for yourself, Don’t Train. Don’t Retain. Don’t ban potential security issues. Don’t recruit. Tell you what, here’s the original article.
Another side effect is that email will give way to instant messaging, laptops will give way to mobile devices, and so on. Call me traditional, but all these new age people who think they’re so intelligent with their fancy ways of doing things know relatively nothing to the old-timers giving their lectures the good old way it’s always been done and should be done.
Let’s take education for an example – there’s this thing called a SmartBoard which is basically a board that your computer screen is projected on, and you can use the board to interact with the computer. Of course, it allows you to have lots of fancy coloured pens, change your pen brush to smiley faces, and best of all, give you an excuse to show some cheap presentation you downloaded off the internet. What do they do then? These new-age teachers flick through each slide, repeating what’s already on there in slightly different words then ask you to copy it down. If you ask them a question, they say `All you need to know is on the powerpoint`. If you argue and say it isn’t, they say `Google it up.`
Long story short, these people don’t know zilch. Give me back traditional workflows and proper hierachies of command. Hell – GIVE ME BACK THE CANE. Studies show that all this exposure to digital media develops ADD (wait, you say, what’s ADD? Let me Google it up. See, you filthy people) and can cause neurological brain disorders. It’s also been proven that our exposure has weakened our knowledge-absorbing and investigation techniques. In other words, in terms of finding relevant information, the Internet will be a much more beneficial tool for adults, not us. I know some people are even too lazy to read this article. We want things spoonfed to us. Read a manual? No – just Google a tutorial or ask for instant online help. Please, I beg of you! Use your brain once in a while!
Note: any decently intelligent person would realise I never properly discussed the topic. Here’s a question for you: what do you think will become of the industries that fall victim to the hopelessly terrible way of life Gen-Y is used to? (This is because the effects are very industry specific- some industries will maintain traditional approaches)