Are we living in the era of the Entitlement Generation or is this the challenge of being the Internet Generation?
It is in the future and the present that one must be re-introduced to one's children. They are new people at every stage of development yet we still see them on the potty. The generation we don't seem to understand is truly... the internet generation.
How do we learn to see them anew and more importantly; how does the Internet Generation learn to see themselves through new eyes?
The ideal way is through a Professional Mentor who sees them for who they are now and who they could become, free of judgment and free of external limitations. That is the key to Mentoring Teens and Young Adults towards success.
To find that successful future, we must first look at what makes inhabitants of the Internet (a land I call WebFredonia) different.
People born before 1980 are not born of the land of the Internet. We are first or second generation CyberDonian immigrants. Those born of the Internet world are wired differently.
We should begin by asking ourselves: “Are they really different?” Didn’t every generation talk about how much better they were to their elders then the present generation and is it not a time-honored complaint?
It is the eternal complaint about each generation.
Having said that, there are reasons why the Internet Generations (IG) are truly different than most of those that preceded them. I say most because the Internet Generation has some common links with the generations that fought in the two “great wars”, as well as a few very big differences.
Those two great generations saw their entire world change in the span of a few short years. All the things they knew for certain, all the truths they took as being the way of the world were changed forever. You really couldn’t keep ‘em down on the farm after that.
Like those two generations, today’s generation of teens and young adults experience world-shaking changes on a regular basis in everything they know:
how they consume their music, from physical cd’s to proprietary mp3’s on their computer to the cloud;
How they communicate; from home phones, to cell phones, to emails, to texting, to face-booking;
How the world works – many “indispensable” jobs of middle and upper middle management will soon be gone. They will join the rapidly disappearing industrial and transportation jobs. Thanks to the constant advances in Artificial Intelligence.
Children today are virtually accosted by people gaining instant world-wide fame for the bizarre to the infamous. How can they ever compete with these one-second stars in making their mark?
Reality television’s ravenous appetite for championing people who crave their 24 episodes of world fame at any cost seems never-ending.
How can the Internet Generations compete when every voice is modified and every picture photo-shopped to create perfection What should they aspire to?
Perfectionism is causing many kids to not bother trying.
What benefit is there to “striking out on your own” if every desire is catered to by every means?
Better to act entitled than to try for small personal successes… and there you have it. The IG mindset.
Then there is the Internet knowledge base. The Internet Generation has these wide swaths of knowledge without depth, for the most part. This makes their ability to take one choice, when there are so many possibilities, almost impossible
So what is the future to look forward to?
The future is not in the vertical thought process, nor the linear assembly line, it is in the lateral thinking of the age of ideas.
The future belongs to this generation and it is through ideas based on their personal goals and beliefs, nourished by a daily routine of personal development that this will become the greatest generation ever.
I believe this to be true because I see it happening in the young adults I mentor. People who come to me stuck. Unable to succeed, who, with a few simple steps towards self-actualization, towards “piercing the target” to start at anything and just experience the unfolding of craft.. they take to it like a duck to water and soar.
Time to give parents of the internet generation the tools to bring back their rightful place as the shapers of this great generation: Stay tuned for part 3!
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