More on Millennials, With a Side Dish of IM
I know that by now, many of you out there will have read and thought about Born With The Chip, by Stephen Abram and Judy Luther, but it's worth re-reading and discussing and using in the library setting. When I read the terms Abram & Luther use to describe the Millennials -- Format Agnostic, Nomadic, Multitasking, Experiential, Collaborative, Integrated, Principled, Adaptive, and Direct -- I see a sharp image of my youngest sister. She's 19 years old, a freshman in college, and is the embodiment of most (if not all) of these qualities. And her friends (all gazillion of them -- I've known many of them since they were five and I sometimes find it hard to keep up) are all these ways, too. They are serious, goofy, iPod using, Napster-Kazaa-iTunes hopping, online gaming, do-it-myself searching, standing-up-for-the downtrodden, sharp as a tack instant messaging tech gurus. Only they don't see themselves that way, because technology has always been a part of their lives. And they are changing the way we work.
For more on Instant Messaging, the thoughtful and smart folks at the Pew Internet and American Life Project have published a fascinating report called How Americans Use Instant Messaging. The summary links not only to the report, but also to the questionnaire the researchers used. This warms the very cockles of my heart, and would no doubt please my Research Methods professor.