By Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dror
The Eight Net Gen Norms-
The best description that I know of and will use of who the Net Generation actually are, is done in the book “Grown Up Digital” by Don Tapscott (Mc Graw Hill, New York, 2009) Chapter Three, pages 73-96.
He describes the eight characteristics of this generation and calls them “norms”- distinctive attitudinal and behavioral characteristics that differentiate this generation from their baby- boomer parents and other generations. While this refers primarily to the American community, it was tested in the nGenera survey of 6,000 Net Geners around the world and describes this cohort as best as any that I know of.
I assume that this also applies to the Jewish members of this Net Gen as well.
We will see how I connect these Jewish Net Gen themes as I do more of these blogs and you read them.
I will quote extensively from this and use these data as valid.
The reason I am saying this is that this Cyber-Or blog is directed to this cohort.
There are eight norms that Tapscott lists that are rooted in the unique experience of todays youth-especially with regard to their media diet.
They want to work, play and learn where they want and when they want. They want to live in a world of flextime. They want variety and they love choice. Their current mantra is Obama’s iconic line: “Yes We Can”. They are on a quest for freedom, and its setting up expectations that may surprise and infuriate their elders.
Net Geners get something and customize it to make it fit their lives –when and where they seem to want it. They have changed every category they have touched so far. This group is the most diverse generation ever seem.
Today’s youth seek the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. They want to know what is going on and basically “trust and verify” as their motto.
This n-Gen is a generation that does give a damn. They want to be honest, considerate, transparent, and abide by commitments. They want to do this and they demand it of their leaders. They are not at all a narcissistic generation at all. They are confident and self assured.
They are natural collaborators, and have created a culture of collaboration. They influence each other in networks on a global scale. Tapscott coined a cute phrase: N-FLUENCE. They are prosumers and live with prosumption.
They collaborate and co-innovate and often organize themselves into new communities that go far beyond traditional teamwork.
They want their work and as many aspects of their life to be fun. They can deal with multiple activities simultaneously. A good part of their world deals with edutainment—entertainment plus education.
They are into instant feedback. The quality and nature of time changes and the fast pace of their lives is critical to them.
They live in a culture of innovation and on –going creativity. Change and the “new” are part of what is significant.
Tapscott concludes this chapter (page 96) with this summary:
“These are the eight norms of the Net Generation.
• They value freedom-freedom to be who they are, freedom of choice.
• They want to customize everything, even their jobs.
• They learn to be skeptical, to scrutinize what they see and read in the media, including the Internet.
• They value integrity-being honest, considerate, transparent, and abiding by their commitments.
• They are great collaborators, with friends online and at work.
• They love to deal with entertainment.
• They thrive on speed.
• They love to innovate.
This is the net Generation…”