Are You Digital or Analog? – The differentiating of generations by technology use

There are many days when I’m at work, and my 63 year old boss turns to me and says “hey can you help me do this?”. It’s generally something simple, to me at least, like saving an attachment in an email or printing a word document in landscape instead of portrait. I’m a 21 year old ‘tech-savvy’ male in generation Y. My boss usually refers to me as ‘Digital’ and herself as ‘Analog’ when she’s asking if our store has the ability to do something computer wise.

This description has never made sense to me more than now. In Analog, you have a beautiful sine wave signal of flowing information one direction and one track at a time. That’s how my boss operates, one thing at a time but efficiently doing it. Myself, on the other hand, I am ‘digital’, a knowledge bank of 1s and 0s flowing in constitue to represent information. I can multi task swiftly and with ease but still complete each task. I can move faster when it comes to information processing but lose some details along the way, just as compression in the digital world does.

These descriptions do not represent everyone in a “generation” category, but they do serve as a basis for marketing purposes and business decisions. I work for Walgreens  a company comprised (at the store level) of mainly 25 years old  and under individuals. Walgreens has realized that the majority of the ‘fighting line’ of employees is at the least highly capable of understanding technology. This has resulted in a company wide upgrade of the POS systems, the pharmacy tools, and even a Walgreens app for smart phones. All of these tools are used in conjunction to deliver better customer service and improve the business as a whole.

This business decision however comes from generalizing an age group with their ability to use technology. The article I read viewed this as a bad thing, that you can’t generalize a generation based on technology. I disagree, the current generation that has grown up from birth with massive amounts of technology as their disposal, should be viewed as ‘tech-savvy’ for the most part. I won’t being to argue why we are tech-savvy, but the fact is that we are. Businesses should recognize that and utilize it before they fall behind technologically.

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