Monday, January 02, 2017

So, I saw this on Facebook, and it made me think.

I'm actually not sure if I'm a Millennial or not.
One definition of Millennial is anyone who reached adulthood in the 2000s.  I graduated college in 2000, so by that definition I guess I'm a Millennial.
But on the other hand, anytime birth dates are given for Millennials, they almost never include the late 70s.  The earliest I've heard is 1981 as the start state.  So I guess I missed being a Millennial by 3 years.

But of course we all know these cut-off dates are nonsense anyway.  They're just convenient labels for the media.  There's no substantial difference between someone born in 1978 and someone born in 1981.

But on the other hand, there are definitely generational differences between me and the younger end of the Millennial spectrum.
I work with a lot of people in their early 20s, and occasionally these differences in perspective will pop up.  (Examples are too numerous to mention, so I'll have to save the specifics for another post.)

But I do tend to self-identify with a lot of the negative traits that most (many?) Millennials supposedly have.  I grew up thinking that a career would magically fall into my lap, and I've spent most of my adulthood confused about how to become a professional.
I'm lazy.  I lack direction in life.  I have trouble focusing.  I have poor social skills.

And I have Internet addiction issues.

In Cambodia, I dealt with this by deliberately not installing Internet in my apartment (and I did all my Internet through either Internet Cafes or work computers).
In Vietnam, my apartment came automatically furnished with Internet and cable TV.  And my productivity has dropped off massively.  (This is one reason why I read 41 books in a year when I lived in Cambodia, and 6 books in a year when I lived in Vietnam).

Anyway, about this video:
I'm not sure I agree with every thing he says, but it's thought provoking, and I agree with at least some of it.   (And I appreciate that he goes out of his way not to blame Millennials for being a product of their environment).

I've also been having problems with my adult students (mostly people in their early 20s) being constantly on their phones during class.
The problem has gotten so extreme that in some classes speaking activities have broken down because students have chosen to just text on their phone instead of participate in the activity.
I've compared notes with colleagues, and I'm not the only one who has been having this problem recently.

And also that thing he mentions about how everyone always has their phone out on the table constantly--so true.  All my adult students always have their phones laying out on their desks.

I was thinking might start showing this video at the beginning of term to emphasize to my students why it's inappropriate to have their phones out constantly during class.
And that's another reason I'm posting it here--as a way of bookmarking it for myself so I don't forget it later.

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