And so that’s how the Boomers were raised — to believe that they shouldn’t have to go without.Which, as a philosophy, is perfectly fine and reasonable.Gen Xers didn’t grow up practicing drills at school in case of nuclear attack. The 1990s and the new millennium saw even more boom years. Even though our messages and books arrive the same day we want them, our careers and fulfillment do not. It is a result of a horrible short circuit to their internal reward systems.These Gen Yers have grown up in a world in which huge scale is normal, money is valued over service and technology is used to manage relationships.Generation Y thinks that, because they have grown up with all these technologies, they are better at multitasking.I would venture to argue they are not better at multitasking. According to a study at Northwestern University, the number of children and young people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shot up 66 percent between 20.“Don’t let people get things from you if they aren’t willing to compensate you for it,” goes the thinking. Generation Y is said to have a sense of entitlement.“Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you want.” Again, all reasonable philosophies if the circumstances today were the same as the 1960s and 1970s. And so a few good ideas got a little twisted for the Boomers’ kids. Many employers complain of the demands their entry-level employees often make.
I think we would all feel much better if access to the Internet and a personal cell phone were completely forbidden (which they are).Even if we are in the middle of something, it feels good to check our phones immediately instead of waiting fifteen minutes to complete our original task. When the phone dings while we are driving, we to look. (At least people who smoke stand outside together.) Like alcoholism or drug addiction, this new disease is making our youngest generation impatient at best, and, at worst, feel lonelier and more isolated than the generations before.If Boomers get their dopamine from goals oriented around “more” and “bigger,” then Gen Y is getting their dopamine from anything that satisfies “faster” or “now.” Cigarettes are out. Where alcohol replaced trusting relationships as a coping mechanism for teenagers who grew up to be alcoholics, so too are the positive affirmations we get from social media and the virtual relationships we maintain replacing real trusting relationships as coping mechanisms.Only because our lives are at stake do we see this example as stark.So if we take the life and death part away, why would we think that we can do our work, check our phones, write a paragraph, send a text, write another paragraph, send another text, without the same damage to our ability to concentrate?