Have you ever noticed that every time you use Google or Facebook something has changed? And more than often, irritatingly so because change implies abandoning the way you did it before.
If there is one reason why modern phenomena like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have thrived is because they are committed to constant change. They are always cranking out new ways of doing it. At the helm of these modern movements are young twenty-somethings who have redefined their generation. leaving older generations to scratch their heads in reservation.
Constant Change. They have been called the “Google Generation”, “The Social Networking Generation”, and even “Generation Flux”. They are today’s generation of twenty-somethings who are defined by constant change that is fueled by technological innovation. The “Gen-Flux Generation” (as we will refer to them for this article) are like chameleons, always morphing into new things so that they become like constantly moving targets. Not only are they constantly changing, but they are doing so while they are on the move. While they are walking, watching TV or (we hope not) driving, they fire off emails, thumb out texts, and update their Facebook.
Non-Nostalgic. “Gen-Fluxers” prefer to adapt to new situations than to perfect the status quo. To them, there is no status quo; there is only a process of change. The new generation of young innovators has been described by technologist Peter Diamandus as in “Permenant Beta” (works in progress). In other words, when it comes to new ideas, instead of remaining on shore, they continually launch out into the unknown.
Always pluggedin. “Gen-Fluxers” get their life perspective from multiple sources of media without even being there. Just when you think they miss a church event they will say, “I caught the pod cast on my phone”. To “Gen-Fluxers”, the conversation never ends because they are always connected through technology. There are, however, limits to getting all your interactions, and revelations from media. Media can be remixed and manipulated to service unique points of view. It also goes without saying that media can never compensate for the absence of face-to-face connection. Too much is missed when you are not together within the same time and space.
Uncertainty. Because of this type of culture, “Gen-Fluxers” must endure ambiguity with their lives going in many directions at once. They no longer rely on established business models that promise long careers up corporate ladders. So they become jacks of all trades with many spinning plates in the air. These can include more than one job, carrier, or business venture.
The uncertainty that comes in the wake of all the spinning plates is accompanied by instability, a vague sense of identity, and in many cases moral relativism.
Next time we will explore how this new culture got here and how to reach them.