Talking about my generation

I am a borderline Gen Xer.  Depending on which study you look at, I am sometimes listed as a Baby Boomer.  Labels don’t matter all that much, but I have always felt more affinity to Gen Xers and it always made me feel a little bit younger to label myself as such too.

But recently I have been feeling like I’m not much of a Gen X-er either, especially in relation to what others of my generation seemed to be focussed on.  Quite often I feel more of a digital native like my kids, I am soooo comfortable with most technology.   I game like they do, although my regular gaming is more online board games (which is definitely in line with my demographic), although I do get with the kids and play X-Box or Nintendo DS on the odd occasion.

I guess I am a bit like the person who migrates to a new country and just goes overboard in embracing their new home.  They learn the national anthem, try to live like a person in that country does, picks up the lingo etc – they basically begin a love affair with their new home and I guess that is what I have been like with Web 2.0.  And that has helped me to feel more like a digital native than an immigrant.

So what’s the problem?  I think its that the shine is going off the relationship a bit.  Probably for a few different reasons.

Firstly, the development of Web 2.0 tools seems to have slowed down.  Twitter, which I love is probably the last big thing I jumped on board with.  I signed up to Friend Feed, but for an organised person such as myself, I just find it to chaotic to work through.  Everything else considered Web 2.0 has been around for a while, some like blogs have been around for over 10 years!  Where’s the next big thing to catch my interest again?

Secondly, even though I am well entrenched in Web 2.0, most of my workmates, friends and family aren’t and I get so frustrated with this.  They don’t see these tools and their potential the way that I do and I can’t find the way to help them to do so.  I spoke to a new staff member whose former workplace didn’t even have a website!  Everyone still seems a long way behind and I feel like I’ve been in those space for a long time too.  When is it all going to catch up?

Maybe I’m just tired, maybe I need a holiday (coming up in 4 weeks, yay!) or maybe its all just in my head.  Would love to hear what you guys have to say on the topic, are you experiencing the same types of things?


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    • fiona on August 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I hear you. I feel the same way about web 2.0 (and beyond) I feel it has slowed down and so many people who were fans early on have now dropped off. I’m soldiering on at work trying to keep people involved but I don’t think I’m succeeding as almost everybody has lost interest. How do we rekindle the flame?

    • MexicanStorm on August 11, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I’ve seen what you’ve been doing around the workplace, and your knowledge of all things 2.0 IS having an effect even though you may not be feeling it. You have inspired others to step outside their little squares and to at least LOOK at emerging technologies.
    There are some who are NEVER going to take that step, but give yourself a little pat on the back because your enthusiasm for technology is making its presence felt amongst your work colleagues, even if it’s only one person here and there. Eventually we’ll catch up and it is frustrating, but I’ll play online board games with you if you like!?! (Although you’ll probably beat me)

    • Kelley on August 12, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I’m a definite GenXer and I feel this way! Most of my friends and even colleagues aren’t on-board with these new tools – but I’m pushy, so I work pretty hard to get them into these things, and I’ve been fairly successful (at least with twitter and facebook) but getting people into RSS Readers seems even harder – which is shocking to me because it’s one of the best web 2.0 tools out there!

  1. Thanks all, it is very reassuring to know that I am not alone in feeling this way. I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m guessing it will involved patience and understanding – two things I am not always good at. 🙂

    • Kate on August 12, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I’m a bit like you – borderline altho prolly more baby-boomer. I like Twitter (most days) but wish there were more Australian library/librarians using it.
    I tried FF and found it too overwhelming, too busy – and as SueLibrarian pointed out to me- “it’s got to work for you”.
    It does all seem to have slowed down – which is a pity in some ways- but in others- it just means I can keep pushing *web 2.0* along at work…;-)

    • TB on August 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

    HI, This so follows what I have been thinking, way out here in the desert of WA. Friends and family (except the digital natives I live with) look at me very strangely when I rabbit on about Twitter or facebook or 2.0. Thanks for the post, you are not alone 🙂 (anyway, Back to wooping my sons vampire!)

    • Warren on August 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Maybe this is a time to consolidate and spend more time teaching (both colleagues and customers). I love to play with fun shiny new toys, but they do take time to learn and understand how they can be used in the workplace. Maybe now that we have some ‘breathing space’ we use the time to continue to teach and spread the word, and perhaps more importantly, try to measure the impact of some web2.0 services – see Kate’s post:

  1. […] well be.  Either way, I consider myself more of a digital native than an immigrant, as I have discussed here before and I am definitely a resident.  What about […]

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