If you are an employer, a business owner, a politician, a priest, rabbi or minister or have nieces and nephews or grandchildren in this age group then there are things you need to know about the young people who are just now graduating from high school or college. They were born between 1991 and 1995 and according to author Jack Myers this generation looks at the world in a much different way than the rest of us. Myers points out that "Internet Pioneers" are the first generation of "Internet Natives" and have scarcely known life without the internet." In his fascinating new book "Hooked Up: A New Generation's Surprising Take On Sex, Politics and Saving the World" Myers conjures up a pretty comprehensive portrait of the views, attitudes and attributes of these young people. If you are anything like me you will be alternately distressed, encouraged, alarmed and thrilled by what you will discover. And yes, the "Internet Pioneers" are unlike any other generation who has roamed the face of the earth.
Much to the obvious delight of Jack Myers these "Internet Pioneers" seem to have pretty much embraced most of the "progessive" agenda. They believe in multiculturalism, gay marriage, women's rights, climate change, Obamacare and abortion on demand. I fail to share his enthusiasm. They are also more likely to favor the progressive take on immigration but in my experience most have not been taught the financial implications of such a stance. For the most part these folks were raised in liberal households with few rules and as such have very few inhibitions. Most lead active sex lives and although they eventually want to get married and raise a family for now they are more likely to be in the market for casual "hook-ups" rather than a long-term relationship. They take a rather dim view of organized religion and big business and are not particularly fond of the military either. They value their freedom and dislike being told what to do. Internet pioneers are open to innovative approaches and employers will need to integrate them into their organizations in vastly different ways than members of previous generations. Jack Myers believes that these young people have an awful lot to offer these employers. They definitely are extremely adept at accessing information and have been multi-tasking since they were knee-high to a grasshopper. "Internet Pioneers" are also big on cooperation and go out of their way to avoid conflict. I believe these skill sets bode well for the future of the country and will help America to continue to be the most productive nation on earth.
On a somewaht lighter note what I found particularly fascinating in "Hooked Up" is the way that young people listen to music these days. With a myriad of sites like YouTube, Rhapsody, Pandora etc. it appears that the music industry has essentially been democratized. Who could have predicted this? It seems inevitable that the once dominant big record conglomerates will all but disappear over the next several years. There is a new emphasis on individual songs as opposed to albums and it appears that on the internet it is much easier for talented musicians to display their wares for all to see. There are now tons of what my generation used to call "one-hit wonders" and very few artists who actually achieve stardom. I haven't decided whether this is better or worse but it sure is different! Meanwhile, I was also interested in learning about a phenomenon known as "fashion hauls". What an innovative idea!
For anyone interested in learning more about this generation of young people "Hooked Up: A New Generation's Surprising Take On Sex, Politics and Saving the World" would be a great choice. Jack Myers does a workmanlike job of dissecting the hopes and dreams, fears and foibles of this most fascinating group. Being 61 and an avowed conservative I was a bit taken aback by some of the habits, beliefs and attitudes of these young Americans. From a distance it seems that these kids spend far too much time surfing, texting and "tweeting". One wonders how this will affect their ability to cultivate personal and professional relationships in the future. Myers seems to intimate that this is a generation that will remain "progressive" in their politics for the rest of their lives. I am not so sure. I still believe that there is a lot of truth in the old saying "If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not Conservative by 40, you have no brain". There is little doubt in my mind that this generation has been spoon fed the progressive agenda since nursery school. The good news is that with the internet they will be exposed to other ways of thinking. It sure will be fascinating to see how "Internet Pioneers" evolve over the decades. Highly recommended!
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