Today’s 17- to 21-year-olds are our true Internet pioneers. The Web has been part of their life since birth. Some believe that this has made them different from all other Millennials. Noted media ecologist Jack Myers is one of them. He spent the past two years studying this unique generation and the product is his latest book, “Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World.”
I’ve been fortunate to hear Jack talk about his research and his book a number of times, most recently at Cannes (disclosure: he spoke at an event co-hosted by my company Simulmedia). I think that Jack is right-on in his analysis and assessment, particularly the business implications of adapting to the influence of the “Hooked Up” Generation as they enter the workforce, politics, society and culture in the next several years. Here are some of the key points:
Equality-focused. For them, equality is a birthright. Diversity, women's rights, gay rights are the norm.
Stable. To the Hooked-Up Gen, the Internet is where they find peace and stability. In a world of chaos, they turn to the Internet for stability. As a result, they will be agents of stability, not change, as they enter the business world and society using technology to find their way in a chaotic world.
Adaptable to Change. Because they've grown up with rapid and radical technological disruption, they anticipate it and understand that the acceleration of technological Internet-based applications will be the norm. They are not threatened by it and will be the best agents for adapting companies, schools, etc to the coming advances.
Collaborators. They have grown up in an Internet-based world that has no hierarchy or silos. Collaboration is their norm.
Knowledge-focused. For them, information is barely useful for performing the most fundamental tasks. They seek knowledge and understanding.
Jack is a good friend, so I have a bias here, but I am in his camp on this. I believe that this generation is fundamentally different from others before and after and that we in media and marketing should take the time to understand it. They are our future, not just as consumers of the products and services we market and advertise, but as colleagues, partners -- and bosses -- who will be a big part of our business in a very short time.
Here is a link to the book on Amazon I highly recommend you find out for yourself.