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Us vs Them?

Differences among generations abound. Do they have to be good or bad?

➔ There are numerous differences among people of different generations. Don’t kid yourself. To one degree or another it’s always been like this. Whether or not those chasms are wider today than before is debatable. But they do exist.

Not the least among the differences between younger and older generations is how we both approach and use – and are comfortable with – technology. What makes this seemingly huge is how much technology has altered life for everyone over the past 20-30 years.

Does that put you behind the eight ball?

The knee-jerk response to the older vs younger technology issue is that we oldies are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to being techno-current. While, in many cases, that may be true it’s not a given across the board. If fact, when comparing an older worker with a younger counterpart, the older contestant may actually emerge the victor.

If you think of the younger worker having the upper hand when it comes to technology, you also must concede that the older worker will carry the day when it comes to experience. When a solution is needed the younger employee will turn to a search engine for an answer. But even the good folks at Google will have to concede that an online search is only as good as the search terms you enter.

In contrast, the experienced worker may not even need to fire up a search engine to solve the problem. Drawing upon past experience may be sufficient to come out on top. The good news about experience is that it’s tried and true with proven results. The search-engine driven solution may work… or it may not.

Even when the older worker is forced to resort to an online search, experience may determine which search terms will yield the best results. And once the search engine reveals its results, the older worker should be better able to recognize which results best apply to any given situation.

It may sound like a broken record (an analogy with which younger workers can’t identify) but experience wins again.


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