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Wifi password please?

February 13, 2013 at 12:05 am PST

Back in the days, I was one of those students who wanted the most up to date scientific calculators and the latest design of the Trapper Keeper notebook.  These days, it’s the wifi access the students want, to stay connected anytime, anywhere on their smartphones or tablets.

According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report more than 40% of Gen Y (18-30 year olds) “would feel anxious, like part of them were missing” if they couldn’t check their smartphones.  I was chatting with my colleague Rochelle Brocks-Smith from the Healthcare team the other day and she was joking that soon, her kids will develop carpal tunnel syndrome with all the texting they do! image_gallery
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The Smartphone Gets Which Side of the Bed?

A whopping 90% of young people use their smartphones to help them face the day …often BEFORE they get out of bed.

Even before a cup of coffee, young people grab their smartphone. They’re checking it for emails, texts and social media updates. The phone has become as much a morning ritual as the toothbrush.

When the recent third annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report surveyed 3,600 young people ages 18-30 from 18 countries about their tech habits, we found that Gen Y’s attachment to phones continues throughout the day:

  • 3 in 4 check their phones in bed;
  • More than a third check it in the bathroom (not sure which one makes me more
    nervous);
  • 46% text, email and check social media during meals;
  • 60% say they’re ‘compulsive’ about checking their smartphones and 42% admit to feeling ‘anxious’ when disconnected;
  • Two-thirds say they spend the same amount — or more time — with friends online as they do in person.

My Aha! moment from this study?  I may be a Boomer, but I’m not much different.

The gap between my generation and younger ones in how we use technology is getting smaller. (In fact, my smartphone is always the first thing I touch in the morning…because I use it for my alarm clock!)

Interestingly, as we older folks are getting more comfortable with technology (and seeing its value), younger people are getting less starry-eyed. For example, more than a third suspect that people present themselves differently online than in the physical world. This year’s study also found three out of four don’t trust Internet sites to keep their data private, and nearly a third are very concerned about security and identity theft.

This younger generation’s relationship with technology is really maturing. The first year we did this report, many Gen Yers were convinced that the Internet was more important than dating or having a car.

The results from Connected World are truly global. In India, for example, 96% use their smartphone first thing in the morning. Use our interactive map on cisco.com to hover over any country and get its stats. Here’s the snapshot for the U.S.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 4.42.44 AM

Another of the report’s interactive graphs is discovering your “data footprint” — or how much YOU are on your devices. Are you an explorer, highly connected or — like me-- a super user?  Go here to do the test!

Here’s another way I see myself reflected in this year’s Connected World report. For many of us, there’s no clear line between work time and personal time. Work is what we do, not where we are. I used to have two phones -- one for work and one personal. Now I have one phone for both. It’s truly an integrated life.

When it comes to shopping during the holidays, many of us mix our physical world with the online world, too. Cisco’s study found 90% of the young people surveyed shop online and 58% rely on customer reviews online. Oftentimes, we go into a store, price compare on our phones (or tablets), and complete a purchase on them before we leave.

We’re in a connected world. Our phones and all our network-connected devices are becoming an intrinsic part of ourselves. Now we just have to decide which side of the bed our phone gets.

Check out all the findings from the study here on the Connected World site. As always, we’d love your comments!

Happy holidays!

Carlos

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Collaborating with the New Generation

October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

I had a troubling thought. If I can no longer be considered part of the new generation, am I now the old generation? Generation X used to sound so modern, but we’re no longer the cool kids. After all, I’m driving a Prius and doing fourth-grade homework with my kid after dinner instead of chasing Skrillex. Now we have the Millennials who, according to Wikipedia, are Gen Y. (But, really, what generation wants to be saddled with a name based on the one that came before it?)

We recently invited a small group of MBA students from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to meet some of our customers for a grilling panel on what companies can expect from the new generation entering the workforce.

They provided first-hand perspective about what it’s like to be new on the block and work with, well, er, an older generation. Compared to our learned comfort with technology, theirs is nearly ingrained based on its presence in their lives since childhood. This difference comes through in their expectations, habits, and predictions for the wonderful world of technology in front of us. Read More »

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Inside the Minds of Generation Y

In the words of Morley Safer from the American news program 60 Minutes, “Stand back all bosses, a new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred.” What a nice way to put it Mr. Safer, but to be honest, it sounds a little biased.

Why has there been controversy between Generation Y and the current workforce? It may be due to our abnormal perspectives or the fact that we appreciate when others want our input -- whatever it is, the media has enjoyed writing about our “non-traditional” ways of working. The truth is other generations are now embracing some of our methods: such as communicating through social media and “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) because of its convenience and efficiency.

Yes, we may be viewed as discourteous to what the current workforce offers, but considering we represent some of the earliest adopters of new technology, we believe there is always “a next best thing”. Read More »

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The Millennials Are Coming!!

Today, Americans in the United States will celebrate the 4th of July, commemorating their independence as a nation.  But how independent are they really, “they” being those Americans who embark upon a career in public service, those persons responsible for keeping their independent and free nation as such?

The answer is:  some are more independent than others, namely the Millennials, you know, that little Generation Next, soon to comprise more than half of the world’s population, and dominate the global workforce?

The Millennials are demanding independence, freedom, and flexibility in the workplace, and not just in the United States.  If you’d like to become better acquainted with them, watch this Ted Talk as Scott Hess discusses who they are and why they’re the “better” generation, and then read on.

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