Kyle Reyes, the creative director for a boutique marketing firm, explains all the ways in which technology is hindering the current generation's communication skills. Read on to find out why this could actually be a positive thing for some millennials.
It's causing the death of a generation. Or at least the communication of the millennial generation.
And we're all becoming infected.
My wife is trying to save our family. She's identified an antidote.
It's called "20 minutes of no technology during dinner."
If my symptoms are particularly bad, she'll actually confiscate my cell phone.
It leaves my skin crawling as I go through withdrawal.
The more I interact with millennials — whether I'm interviewing them, overseeing internships, or giving speeches to them — the more I see it. It's an entire generation that doesn't know how to communicate.
Here are some stats for you:
- According to a Nielsen study, 83 percent of millennials say they sleep with their smartphones. (I think 17 percent of them overslept and missed the study.)
- A Cisco study found that 56 percent of millennials won't accept jobs from companies that ban social media.
- An Odesk study found that 89 percent of millennials would prefer to choose when and where they work rather than being in a 9-to-5 position, and 45 percent would rather be able to work from home than make more money.
- An Intrepid study found that 48 percent say word-of-mouth (specifically social media) influences their purchasing decisions over TV ads. Sixty-three percent stay updated on brands through social networks.
- A study by Millennial Branding found that 50 percent of college millennials say they don't need a physical classroom. Fifty-three percent believe online colleges are reputable. And 39 percent view the future of education as being virtual.
- How prepared are they to enter the workforce? A 2013 study commissioned by Bentley University found that 35 percent of business leaders assigned a score of "C" or lower on preparedness to recent college grads they've hired. And get this — 37 percent of those grads gave themselves the same grade range.
- A 2013 State of St. Louis Workforce study found that a lack of communication skills and poor work ethic, along with a lack of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, were the biggest shortcomings of the job applicants — far outpacing a lack of technical skills such as math and computer.
How did this happen??
It's not rocket science, folks. You've probably seen the videos on YouTube. Babies sitting on Mom's lap . . . trying to "swipe" the pages on the magazine that Mom is holding as if she were using an iPad.
Entire coffee shops filled with people sitting together and ignoring each other as they text on their smartphone.
People who don't know how to maintain eye contact.
Twenty-somethings who don't know how to properly shake your hand (hint — always touch webbing and never let your wrist go limp).
People who have no interest in attending their class reunion, as I wrote about previously, because they already know what everyone in their class has been doing.
Doorbells? What are those? "Text u when i get there."
Landline? Never heard of it. "Text me, bro."
Rock concerts where people don't hold up lighters, they hold up cell phones.
Presidents who can't give a speech without a teleprompter.
People falling in front of trains who don't get a hand . . . they get YouTubed.
Yes, it's a stereotype of an entire generation. Actual human communication is dead. But there's good news.
The fact that so few millennials know how to communicate helps make those who DO know how to have a real conversation SHINE. It's sad that so few people in this generation have a strong work ethic, but it means that they will be the few and the proud that SUCCEED.