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Net Geners have Grown Up Digital and are living life 15 minutes at a time. Is your message getting across? This generation literally thinks differently than previous generations. Learn how to communicate with them.

Grown Up Digital

Don Tapscott released Grown Up Digital in 2008. I read this book in 2015 and find it totally relevant today. This really is the digital age. Don explains in this book that this generation has been exposed to tools that we never even dreamed of during the time their brains were developing their maps or pathways. This means they think differently and respond to different stimuli than previous generations.

The TV Generation: Switch off; I receive; Couch potato; Helpless; Monoculture; United. The Net Generation: Switch on; I send & receive; Subway surfer; Powerful; Multi-culture; FragmentedNet Geners have grown up using technology their whole lives. That means they had access to more information then we ever dreamed of. I used to think our Encyclopedia Brittanica was the cat’s meow. Google is faster, more efficient and brings more options for me to consider today. Most of this generation has never seen an Encyclopedia unless it was the online version. As a result of this technology, this generation thinks faster and transfers their attention in about 10-15 minute intervals.

Are you still trying to do a 45 minute presentation?

If you want to understand most people under 35, I would highly recommend reading Don Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital.

15 Minutes At A Time

This generation lives life 10-15 minutes at a time. They live “in the moment” more than we ever did.

Think about it, Youtube clips are generally under 5 minutes and almost never over 15. Twitter keeps you down to 140 characters, just seconds to type. Xbox, Playstation and others have fast moving games that require you to process information quickly, make decisions and act quickly. Try that in a government office and see how that works for you! That’s why government and businesses alike need to learn to live in 15 minute intervals.

The cat’s out of the bag and good luck getting it back in. Net geners are here and we need to learn their language if we are to be successful in getting their attention and trust.

Net Gener or ADHD?

Center For Disease Control (CDC) in the US has published data that seems to indicate an increase in Attention Deficit Hyper-active Disorder (ADHD) in the United States.

Hyperactivity; disorganization; distracted; disinhibition; forgetfulness;inattentionAfter reading Grown Up Digital, I have to wonder if anyone has factored this change in how we think before making a diagnosis of ADHD. Ironically, I would have said I had Adult ADHD sometimes because I get bored easily and tend to skim articles before I decide to invest the time to read them or be bouncing back and forth between a project I’m working on and social media. I believe that having worked in the technology industry just as internet and computer speeds were increasing, and having to be able to teach others how to use their technology, my brain has re-wired to be similar to a Net Gener. So, no, I don’t “suffer” ADHD.

Next time someone is trying to diagnose your child, think long and hard before accepting a prescription as opposed to making changes in how your child is being taught.  Is the issue ADHD or is it the method of teaching doesn’t work for them?

The problem may not be ADHD, it may be we just don’t recognize the difference with Net Geners.

Educating The Next Generation

Our educational system is under a lot of pressure these days. We have three generations of administrators with conflicting ideas on how to deliver their product. Net Geners learn differently and we need to catch up to them. What do we need to do to teach the net generation?

I remember when my son was frustrated in high school. I went to see the Vice Principal to discuss his challenges and advised the principal at that time (about the time Grown Up Digital was written, 2008) that if he was going to engage in a “conversation” with my son, he better make sure he knows his facts because my son was probably smarter than he was. OK, I admit it wasn’t the brightest thing I could have said! My son’s issue at the time was that the system couldn’t hold his attention. They weren’t teaching him anything he didn’t already know and weren’t delivering their message in a way he could understand.

In the post World War II era, we were training people to work in factories. Those jobs are disappearing. We need to be training them for jobs that don’t exist yet.We need to re-define how we educate going forward.

Sales is Education

Selling a product or service today is different. In the past, you made people aware of a product or service and convinced them they needed it. Today, there is so much competition and availability that you need to educate your prospect about why they would deal with you.

When you want something these days, what do you do? Personally, I start with internet searches to find out what possible solutions there are to my problem. Rarely do I buy because someone put a flyer in door or sent me bulk mail. I buy from someone I “know, like and trust”. This could be a referral from a friend (borrowed credibility) or it could be someone I have been following online (social media or blog). Sometimes it might even be someone I met in a bricks and mortar business. Bottom line, I don’t buy on impulse from people I don’t know. Not for anything important.

Many of today’s prospects have Grown Up Digital. Hang out where they do and introduce yourself.

Get out there and start educating people. Write blogs. Interact on social media, not just “likes”. Start a conversation and let them get to know you. Use webinar rooms and teach people something so that they can get to know you and what you have to offer.

Meet, greet and educate. Stop selling and help them buy from you.

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my GVO tools. I’m thankful for high speed internet access. I’m thankful you took the time to read this.

What are you thankful for today?


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