#WTF (We The Future)

“Detail oriented.”

 

“Attention to details”.

 

“The little things are what matter most”.

 

We have all heard these phrases, in some context, at some point in our lives. Sitting at the dinner table as a child, I remember the telephone ringing, and my brother and I racing to answer it—not because it was a contest to see who would reach it first, but because of the sheer fascination with the surprise. Who could it be? Although caller ID would quickly remove this fascination, it was the small things that I remember and it’s the small things that I miss. With the increase in the vast amounts of social media content and individual dependency on being “connected”, it’s the small things that my generation is lacking.

 

My generation—more specifically, "the millennials"—have shifted their focus from what used to be the future, to a short term mindset. “I live in the now” is a phrase commonly used by my peers. Although I can relate to this mindset, at least in some capacity, I can’t help but think, “What happens to the future of our planet?” “What could we possibly hope to contribute thinking this way”? Above all else, “what has this generation lost in employing this way of thinking”?

If you have the opportunity to speak to a corporation or small business anywhere in the developed world today, they would all agree on one thing: Social media, as it pertains to the overall strategy of a business, is a necessity nowadays. Our society is becoming more interconnected by the minute and the ability to connect on a personal level with customers is a crucial component for any successful business strategy. However, let me repeat myself: For a business to be successful.

Sure, social media is fun and connects you to people around the world in more ways than one, but not without a price. Texting, snapping, tweeting, etc. has singlehandedly destroyed the basic communication skills needed in the workforce. Everyone is glued to their phone. The simplicity of a phone call has become a thing of the past. Ignored calls are quickly followed by a message saying, “why don’t you just text me?”

 

Over-exaggeration is a common response to this accusation. However, course curriculums at public and private universities have changed because of this phenomenon. It has become increasingly common for a university to require students to take classes solely devoted to writing, communication, and career planning skills. Universities and corporations alike have recognized this problem, and have implemented strategies to correct this ongoing communication issue.  “Your” and “you’re” is a small detail that has the power to draw the line between receiving an interview or being discarded to the bleak nothingness of resume oblivion. 

 

Do I believe that generations to come should have the ability to navigate the different kinds of social media and have basic internet knowledge? Of course. Nevertheless, solely relying on technology to learn about the world around us is only contributing to my generation and generations to come absolute lack of communication skills.

Our society is built on the idea that communication is key. Technology, for example, relies on communication to function, but where should the line be drawn?  Our ability to communicate amongst each other, face to face, has taken a back seat to this new form of communicating. We, as a generation and a society, have lost the most important detail that supports the idea of connectivity.  The tools needed for the future are not in the handheld computer that has redefined the world in which we live in. The tools are in the connectivity of the relationships and experiences of everyday life. The tools are derived from the details in which we have forgotten—the small things in which our society desperately needs. 

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