Maybe…

via Putting People First, I came across this article in the International Herald Tribune today and after reading it, it made me think. I’d written about the Millenials just yesterday, and I had expressed concern, now I wonder…

Reading all the way through the article, these few words triggered a train of thought that suggests that the road ahead is forked. There is always the road less travelled by.

Ms. Roxas would wholeheartedly disagree. Working at Gurl.com, she says
that it is all too common for older people to dismiss the "MTV
generation" as lacking concentration and wherewithal, as being
team-oriented but bereft of individual ideas, and as being hopelessly
addicted to the hive.

The relentless multitasking and interactivity are "just a different way
of doing things," Ms. Roxas said, recalling that even as an
undergraduate she would often seek help and counsel among her peers
through instant messages on her computer. "I actually got more done
that way," she said, "and I always knew when to sign off and get my
work done.

Maybe the increasing interconnectiveness will lead down a different path. Maybe this generation will connect with peers and friends from around the world, through their blogs and their spaces and their sites and get to know each other as people first, then friends, and only finally realise that the other was on a different continent. Maybe, if that happens, then they will be able to cut across the barriers of time (zones) and space and really connect with each other. Of course, my pragmatic left brain says, it will take time and it will be those who know the lingua franca of the interweb and it will only be those who have access to technology. But I can dream can’t I? It’s a step forward and it could lead to one ‘hive’ to quote the paragraph from the IHT article, it could lead to teams around the world. It could lead to something…

Maybe.

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3 Responses to Maybe…

  1. niblettes says:

    Maybe I’m in danger of becoming a dinosaur, but I’d rather sit around steaming cups of half emptied coffee mugs with a group of people than sit around my keyboard tapping out simian Shakespeare.
    I think in our fascination with discovering how much technology can do for us makes it easy to forget the fundamental importance and value of old fashioned face-to-face connections.
    I’ve heard of research into software development productivity that shows nearly an order of magnitude drop in productivity when developers are physically separated by 1 or more floors in the same building (extrapolate this across time zones).
    Indeed physical connection is part of what’s behind Richard Florida’s (you may have heard him talk since he was in Pittsburgh for several years) creative class theories, and the concentration of productivity in centers like San Francisco and New York.
    If McLuhan was right, then mediation technologies and the interactions with them are the message. This makes the people on the other side of these technologies somewhat interchangeable, preventing any deep personal interconnectedness.
    I’ve seen a lot of journalism on the breadth of mediated personal connections, but nothing on the depth or quality of such connections, and very little on the psychological and emotional consequences.
    On the other hand, perhaps I’m just a cumudgeonosaurus grumpily chewing on fern leaves as he watches that bright comet burn through the evening sky. Oh well, back to my ferns.

  2. Niti Bhan says:

    🙂
    Maybe what I meant was the people would connect across the barriers of culture, religion, language and ethnicity, that finally people would get to know each other as people, not just stereotypes or markets or demographics or the ‘other’. Maybe it doesn’t always have to be about the profit motive, or the creative class or the best location. Maybe for a person in Pittsburgh to connect to a person in Rangoon, the net is better than nothing, because face to face maynot be feasible anytime soon. Maybe this is not about productivity and outsourcing and offshoring, maybe its about people, and understanding, and world peace?

  3. niblettes says:

    Ok, I think I know where you’re coming from. Perhaps every personal connection dosen’t need be a deeply personal one. Perhaps a profusion of looser, simpler connections with a greater variety of different people would be beneficial in different ways. Perhaps if “the other” wasn’t so “other” we’d have an good answer for Elvis Costello’s question “What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?”
    I’ll buy that.

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