Newsletter #425 – The Rise of Generation C

Recently, strategy+business (February 22, 2011) published a fascinating article titled The Rise of Generation C. These people, born after 1990, are called Generation C because they are connected, communicating, content-centric, computerized, community oriented, always clicking. “This is the first generation that has never known any reality other than that defined and enabled by the Internet, mobile devices, and social networking.” Most own cell phones and computers but Generation C people prefer to communicate by Facebook and text messages. “Being connected around the clock will be the norm in 2020 – indeed it will be a prerequisite for participation in society.” Already, “digital communication channels have replaced much of the physical interaction of prior generations.”

This is more than futuristic fantasy or interesting sociological analysis. C-generation connectivity already is impacting how we relate, do business, educate, learn, work, lead, make decisions, run political campaigns, engage in therapy and live our lives. Corporations, healthcare, travel, entertainment, diplomacy and even governments will be forced to change as 24/7 connectivity and social networking become the norm worldwide. What does this say about the way we manage crises, make ethical decisions, evangelize or do ministry? What are some practical implications?

  • The more overwhelmed, anxious or the older we get, the more we are likely to resist, deny or ignore changes like these. And the more irrelevant we will become.
  • Ignore trends like these and we become reactive, deluged by the changes. Better to be like the wise leaders of the Old Testament tribe of Issachar who “understood the signs of the times and knew the best course…to take” (I Chronicles 12:32). They understood the trends as best they could and were proactive in adapting and making changes.
  • No one person can keep abreast of all the changes so we connect with others who are knowledgeable where we are not.  We trust in God who has put us in this place, at this time, for his purposes, to be part of this social revolution.
  • See this as an exciting, incredible time to be alive, living, leading, and encouraging others.

How are you handling these changes? Please comment.

    • Sandi Geldenhuys
    • March 3rd, 2011

    I’ll be 50 this month, so I’m definitely not part of Generation-C! I do feel quite overwhelmed by the reliance on technology to stay connected. I miss the human touch and personal face-to-face engagement with people. It seems most of the younger generation are content to interact through the means of text messages or Facebook postings. I use these means to engage with them, but it leaves me empty! I feel their communication is generally very superficial and often meaningless. But, I choose to stay connected and hopefully win the right to engage with them in person. I don’t want to be irrelevant or disconnected, but I miss more personal face-to-face interaction with the younger generation.

    • Sandi, I very much appreciate your honesty. I share a lot of your sentiments. I dislike the text-message style of communication but like missionaries or diplomats who learn to speak new languages, people who communicate across generations also need to speak the language of those who are not like us. I think that does open doors to communication even in the face-to-face way. By learning another language you are earning respect and the trust that lets you communicate when others your age (and mine) would be ignored. I suspect the day will come (maybe it is here) when hyper-connected people will come to value the person-to-person engagement that adds something that technology can’t provide. Even this afternoon I was on an international conference call and the participants concluded that we need to find a way to get together in person because there is a chemistry when we are in a room together, a chemistry that does not come across cyberspace.

    • Wayne
    • March 7th, 2011

    The roller paint brush, my grand father refused to use one.

  1. Hi there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

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