Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we’re considering the social impact that technology is having across the generations.
It's not "new" news, but apparently it's now official: teenagers and young adults are opting to leave Facebook as the over 55's flock in. Forecasters predict the movement will continue, so Facebook will have to think fast to temper the trend. It's clearly a challenge to secure cross generational appeal, but as teenagers move towards apps such as Snapchat, does it also signal a trend towards a different style of social media based on immediate social interaction which Facebook isn't quite able to offer?
Evidently parents should be keeping an open mind when it comes to technology, otherwise they are putting our children's future careers at risk. Digital skills will be critical in the majority of future careers, and tech specific positions are also booming: top roles include Vlogger, Animator, Quantum Programmer, Machine Learning Engineer, IoT Architect and Chief Data Officer. Many of these words, let alone careers, didn't exist ten years ago: the new generation are looking at a very different professional landscape to that of their parents and the change will need to be embraced rather than feared.
The 2018 FDM "everywoman in Technology Awards " took place last week, and on the back of these, women in tech share advice for future generations. Georgina Nelson, winner of "Best Entrepreneur" says “The future is tech and women own half of that" and of course she's quite right. We know that historically, the IT industry has been very male dominated, but change is happening. Skills in technology are now much more accessible and should have the ability to cut through gender barriers to allow the industry to focus solely on the talent.
Technology is having an unprecedented social impact across all generations, and these gadgets geared for seniors are a great example. We've looked at the merits of ElliQ before, an assisted chatbot setup to help address social isolation: a growing problem with the elder generations. Developing technology for seniors must be handled sensitively, and not a "one size fits all approach". Being aware and respectful of different generations and their specific needs is equally important for businesses looking to move their workforce forward in the digital world.
Australia has come up with a great initiative which encourages blogging for baby boomers and thereby promotes social interaction for this generation. We like this concept of building communities and developing social lives through technology: this notion can also be reflected in the workplace. Live chat, digital networks and video conferencing can help develop communication lines across teams and departments helping to create a diversified and connected community.
Back at the other end of the generational spectrum are the Millennial's and their supposed need for instant gratification. According to Gartner research, 85% of consumers will engage with businesses without interaction from a human being by 2020. Communication with a chatbot is instant, fast and, well sometimes downright irritating, but there's no denying how quickly they're evolving, so the prediction for 2020 isn't likely to be far off.