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More on Millennials

Nov - 7 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

When I was at Internet Librarian I had a chance to have a very interesting conversation about the newest generation (GenY, Millenials, whatever you call them) with Stephen Abram.

He stated that I was a Millennial – but that my husband was a GenXer (even though we were born in the same year) – based on a few details I provided for him. At first, I was a little annoyed – because this meant I was lumped in with the younger generation – and I’m tired of being the young one, but I just started reading Abram’s article for the Texas Library Journal entitled “Millennials: Deal With Them!” in which he states:

First, we must discard the idea that this is somehow a damaged generation. It is largely a myth that they are performing more poorly in their education. As a matter of fact, their performance is ahead of previous generations. They may be underperforming on some fronts internationally, but they are not the lesser of the older peers. Secondly, there is a growing body of research that their IQ’s, their raw ability to access and use their intelligence has grown markedly and at a level of statistical significance. MRI studies of their brains show that they use a greater degree and balance of their brains and have greater physical capacity through increased ganglia and folds of their brains. The majority of their education has been reinvented and shows great promise. They have, among others, better team skills, speaking and articulation skills, problem-solving and process management skills. Alternatively, they have weak general knowledge and fact skills. This is not necessarily bad. Actual facts decay rapidly in today’s world. The Periodic Table is not the same as it was when we went to school. Indeed, the number of planets has changed; the maps of nations mutate on a seemingly daily basis; most knowledge is quite malleable in context today. Indeed, many Boomers believe strongly that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and all humans’ internal body temperature is 98.6oF. Since this isn’t true most of the time, it seems that building a generation to access facts and information on demand is a better solution n a complex world.

I don’t feel so bad anymore – you can all think I’m a young’un if it means I get to be lumped in with a group that has “better team skills, speaking and articulation skills, problem-solving and process management skills.” I’m off to finish the article – but so far, it seems like a worthwhile read.

Oh – and on a last note – Abram was also right about my husband – even though we were born the same year (me before him), we are part of different generations – and it’s probably due to the households we grew up in and the locations we went to school – or whatever, but he’d be the first to tell you that he does not quite fit in this mold the way I do. How very confusing it all is!


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