As our class really starts to gear up for our website, not only are we facing the challenges of writing stories, but also the technical aspect of the site. One classmate is creating our website through Wix and I have to say, I would be terrified. I have no problem writing and in fact I sometimes go out of my way to write essays and papers, but when it comes to the technical realm of website creation, I’ll give an emphatic “no”. Now to be clear, it’s not because I don’t have the ability to do so but because I’m tired of doing so. I still consider myself a digital native but somewhere between Baby Boomers and Gen Z’ers.
I’ve been aware the past few months of baby boomers in tech-savvy jobs such as SMWC’s marketing department or media relations, who are still learning these tools. While photography may be a strong suit for one person, creating an eye-catching video or aesthetically-pleasing collage is a completely different skill. So then it hit me, are baby boomers really struggling, still, in an increasingly tech-minded profession? Where millennials are considered digital natives, boomers are digital immigrants who have to be taught very specific apps and programs if they want to stay ahead of the curve (or even with it). Yeah some like to complain about “today’s kids” and their “technology”, but for the most part it seems that their generation is full of Grade-A hypocrites.
Priceonomics, via Nielson Surveys, found that 52% of Boomers use technology during dinner, compared to 38% for 15-20 year olds, and 40% for 21-34 year olds. What’s most important is how Boomers are using their technology compared to younger generations.
One survey has found that over 50% of employees check their company email over the weekend and before or after work. Another found that 40% of employees think it’s fine to respond to important work emails during family dinners. Yet another revealed that most workers expect responses to emails within an hour if not in minutes…nearly 60% of adults check their work email while on vacation, and 6% have checked their email while a spouse is in labor. Another 6% have checked email at a funeral, and 10% at a child’s school event.
Maybe it’s denial, maybe it’s ignorance and a wish to be separated from younger generations somehow, but the fact remains that Boomers are just as bad as everyone else when it comes to technology. I had my first eye-opening moment to this last week during Ring Day. As I’m sitting there, happy for my fellow classmates who have earned their rings, i look around and see a lot of phones and iPads out taking pictures. People getting up from their seats to scuttle around the church to get that perfect picture while blocking my limited view. The funny part was that 99% of the people staring at their phones to take pictures and then staring at them again to crop and edit those pictures were older parents. The elderly guests didn’t have their phones out and for the most part all the students maybe took a couple picture but then put their phone away and continued to enjoy the ceremony.
Maybe it’s a truth that Boomers hope to forget, but the reality is that Baby Boomers are some of the heaviest technology users today and their denial of reality just adds to a long list.
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