I suspect that few of us would disagree with the hypothesis that technology has fundamentally, radically, and perhaps forever changed the nature of communication.
In a private e-mail exchange I speculated that the neo-communicators (specializing in technocom) were becoming a much larger group that than the paleo-communicators (i.e., folks like me). If I want to communicate with them it will be increasingly on their terms, not mine.
We have, of course, considered this phenomenon — technocom — at several of the annual BLSCI symposia.
The provocation for raising this issue again with you is the article “Does Your Company Have an IT Generation Gap?” from Accenture. The abstract for this article reads:
“Surrounded by technology all their lives, the newest members of today’s workforce want a big say in the tech tools they need to do their jobs. They also say they want to pick their employers based on the “coolness” of the technology available to them. Those are just some of the challenges that business leaders must respond to now—before the Millennials’ kid brothers and sisters start joining the workforce.”
If you accept the hypothesis I advanced in the beginning of this post, then the force of “coolness” ought to concern you for it portends, as I see it, continued change in communications. If we, the paleos, are unprepared, then we’re going to be left behind. And being left behind means declining relevance and value.
To paraphrase a podcast I heard a few days ago, “If you don’t understand what’s going on, hire a nine-year old.”
I sense this, obviously, as an issue of growing significance. My institution is doing little about it. What about yours?