Born into one generation – living in another

I read Jay Cross’ post … which pointed to Penelope Trunk’s little quiz: What generation are you part of really?

Okay … so the test is giving yourself points based on media habits or inclinations to see which generation you are most like regarding tech. I’ll let you know which generation I’m apparently a part of in just a moment … but first … Here’s the test:

Do you have your own web page? (1 point)

Have you made a web page for someone else? (2 points)

Do you IM your friends? (1 point)

Do you text your friends? (2 points)

Do you watch videos on YouTube? (1 point)

Do you remix video files from the Internet?  (2 points)

Have you paid for and downloaded music from the Internet? (1 point)

Do you know where to download free (illegal) music from the Internet? (2 points)

Do you blog for professional reasons?  (1 point)

Do you blog as a way to keep an online diary? (2 points)

Have you visited MySpace at least five times? (1 point)

Do you communicate with friends on Facebook? (2 points)

Do you use email to communicate with your parents? (1 point)

Did you text to communicate with your parents? (2 points)

Do you take photos with your phone? (1 point)

Do you share your photos from your phone with your friends? (2 points)

Your total points falling into these broad categories:

0-1 point – Baby Boomer

2-6  points – Generation Jones

6- 12 points – Generation X

12 or over – Generation Y

Turns out that I’m actually a Jones-er by birth date (some might argue that I’m really an X’er … whatever). Yet it turns out that I’m a Generation Y kinda guy when it comes to my media age (coming in at 13 points).

It’s also interesting to read some of the comments on Penelope Trunk’s post (some friendly and others not-so friendly toward this little, unscientific quiz). And we would do well to read more of Penelope’s posts.

So, I’m left with a big “so what?” kind of feeling about this. The things I’ve observed from the kids I work with (and raise) is that although I like to think I’m comfortable in the current stream of tech and feel comfortable playing in this arena, I and they process information differently … we tend to learn in different ways.

Sure, there are commonalities … yet there are some really big differences in how I and the young-uns grapple with perceptions and experiences and their meanings.

And I’m also working to figure out how all this affects my work in the instructional design field.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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4 Responses to Born into one generation – living in another

  1. Kelly says:

    I am another fairly harmless instructional designer who is interested in hearing more about these learning differences with the young-uns. I am on the Jones end of the Boomers.

    Thanks for publishing your blog…what a nice discovery for me. You have some fantastic resources and posts. I am sure to become a faithful reader.

    Thanks for all this!

  2. nkilkenny says:

    I’m so with you with that “So What Feeling.” Do you think people are so PO’ed by this quiz because American culture is so youth-culture oriented? You’re right on with bridging between learning styles. Approaching training to incorporate all generations and learning styles is always the way to go. Right now, when I design learning interactivities I try to provide both the flash (accessible version with audio) and printable docs.

  3. Rory says:

    Kelly –
    Welcome to my humble home of rantings, ramblings and reflections. One quick observation is that the kids I interact act with and teach are quite facile at switching from one task or idea to another. It’s hard sometimes for me to keep up with them (I think that some other adults would consider this indicative of ADHD).

    nkilkenny –
    I’ve been reading a lot about the so-called generational differences. There was an interesting article in Wired about kids views of email (gist is that they think it’s sooooo lame). What was amusing was reading all the comments to the article. Lots of what I would call irritation (sometime bordering on actual anger) among what I think are from the older folks … essentially pooh-pooing the notion of having to accommodate the youth in their fad-like behaviors.

  4. Pingback: What tech age are you?

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