The Millennial Generation was born and raised in the digital world. Whether they are checking their Facebook status or running a business on the go, this constantly connected generation has earned the reputation of being the most tech savvy ever. But are they really?
“What we are seeing today is a certain amount of familiarity for the millennial generation around using technology. Whether it is a mobile phone, a tablet or computer, or also doing things with television, video recordings, gaming, there is a particular set of skills that they have developed,” says Akhtar Badshah, senior director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft Corp. “However, we also know that just because you’ve had familiarity with the use of a device, it may not necessarily lead to proficiency in the use of technology where youth are effectively using technology to better their lives through a job, start something, or undertake further studies.”
Whether it is texting, Facebook, or Skype, millennials, like most people, mainly use technology as a tool for communication.
Gabe Griffith, a junior at Penn State, remembers playing games on the computer at age 3. He has had technology available to him throughout his education. In addition to using his computer, cell phone, iPod, and video game system almost daily, he uses the internet every day for communication and schoolwork.
Despite all this, he says, “My definition of tech savvy is someone who is really good with computers. I would say I’m not very tech savvy.”
Griffith learned about databases and basic web page design in high school. He also learned how to type proficiently in elementary school.
“I’m not a computer major, so I don’t really need a lot more,” he says. If anything, Griffith says he would have liked to learn more about programming, adding that most of what he has learned about computers, such as troubleshooting, he learned from his father or through YouTube videos.