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The irony of millennials: Tech-savvy, yet still less informed

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

It is ironic that millennials, considered the “digital generation,” with access to a wealth of information like never before, are so ignorant of world news and current events.

Fusion’s Massive Millennial poll suggested that  77 percent of millennials were unable to name one of the elected senators from the state in which they live. Although technology provides them with the answers, the question becomes — are they choosing to read it?

Every generation cycles through a series of changes and developments that then come to be the identifier for that particular age group. “Millennials,” the 20- to 30-somethings born between the 1980s and the 2000s have grown up with cell phones, computers, and television at their convenience. With this convenience comes a plethora of stereotypes associated with this age group. Often, the older generations use these stereotypes as negative characteristics to generalize an entire population of people who are now, ironically, flooding our workforce.

On the surface, it seems there is an evident obsession with social media and how one’s self image is portrayed to the world. There is an assumed level of praise and affirmation that this generation expects out of their newly acquired jobs, as a product of the constant attention one receives from social media postings. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there seems to be a blatant ignorance for world issues, and even more so, a lack of interest in these issues. These assumptions have led to doubts expressed from mentors, parents, and managers, alike.

Are the high expectations of millennials leading to a lack of drive and preparedness?

A study from PayScale has some answers. “When we asked managers if their millennial workers were prepared, 13 percent of managers said millennials were unprepared,” said PayScale’s Cassidy Rush. The study alludes to interesting statistics stating managers’ perceptions of millennials preparedness and what they are lacking. In the PayScale survey of nearly 2 million people, it was found that 56 percent of these individuals are lacking attention to detail, and 60 percent are struggling with critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

So, what does this say about our younger generations? Has the reliance on technology and the seemingly growing convenience for phones and other products led to a lack of additional knowledge and an ignorance for what really matters? The Internet, with its wealth of endless information at our fingertips, has seemingly been filtered by this age group to include only topics of interest to them. Political polls, world tragedies, and education reform are critical topics we would be hard-pressed to find in their search history.

It’s obvious there are an enormous surplus of questions that could be asked on this topic. It all comes down to the irony of the situation: technological advances, as powerful and beneficial as they are, may actually be causing us to be less informed than previous generations. Go figure.

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