I haven’t heard that moniker until now – “Google Generation.” These are kids born after 1993 so they are a handful of year away from hitting the workplace. Yet, there is some interesting research out there that debunks some conventional wisdom and reinforces others.
First the debunking (emphasis mine):
It’s true that young people prefer interactive systems to passive ones and that they are generally competent with technology, but it’s not true that students today are “expert searchers.” In fact, the report calls this “a dangerous myth.” Knowing how to use Facebook doesn’t make one an Internet search god, and the report concludes that a literature review shows no movement (either good or bad) in young people’s information skills over the last several decades. Choosing good search terms is a special problem for younger users.
Now the accurate conventional wisdom:
- They like to cut-and-paste. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and plagiarism is a serious issue.”
- They prefer visual information over text. “But text is still important… For library interfaces, there is evidence that multimedia can quickly lose its appeal, providing short-term novelty.”
- They multitask all the time. “It is likely that being exposed to online media early in life may help to develop good parallel processing skills.”
I think “multitasking” is one of the fuzziest words in current business lexicon. I suspect there are some people who can juggle many tasks for a short period with average to slightly above average success. However, the expansion of this ability to be something more than it is leads to the multitasking myth.