Report Shows Today’s Youth “Cannot Live” Without the Internet

by Fredrik Savin on 17/11/2009 · 0 comments

Previous research*, e.g. by Neil Howe and William Strauss in 2000 and Don Tapscott in 1998, have found that those individuals born since the early 1980s hold unique capabilities centred on Internet communication. Howe and Strauss (2000) refer to the generation born roughly between 1982 and 2002 as Millennials.

A recent report published by YouthNet of 16 to 24 year olds found that 75 per cent of them feel that they “cannot live without” the Web. The report, which was published in October ’09, also found that four out of five young individuals used the Internet to look for advice.

Andrew McAfee, who coined the term Enterprise 2.0 in 2006, has previously stated in a blog post that an Enterprise 2.0 project is more likely to be successful in a culture where “there are lots of young people”.

If 75 per cent of all individuals between 16 to 24 feel that the Web is key to their existence, I think it’s reasonable to assume that at least a proportion of these individuals will demand similar tools and technologies they use online today at their current and future workplaces.

McAfee addressed Millennials technology preferences in a recent blog post (7th October 2009):

I appreciate that Millennials have different technology preferences and often prefer to use emergent social software platforms (ESSPs) instead of email and other channel technologies. But I also appreciate that almost without exception they enter the workforce in junior roles, and so are in no position to dictate terms about digital tools or anything else. Yes, there is a war for talent, including young talent. But there’s also a severe recession on, and plenty of talented people looking for work. With US unemployment around 10% and talk of a jobless recovery in the air, I wonder how many members of Generation Y will actually walk away from a paid gig just because the communication tools in use don’t suit them.

Source: http://andrewmcafee.org

Do you think there’s a positive correlation between Millennials technological capabilities and attitude towards the Internet and the adoption rate of Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies within companies?

Please leave a comment and let us know.

* Gorman, P., Nelson, T. & Glassman A. (2004) “The Millennial Generation: A Strategic Opportunity”. Organizational Analysis, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2004, p255-270

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