There’s lots of talk about Millennials these days, about their sense of entitlement, about their heightened expectations. I had to go to the Net to see what ages are included in the definition and from what I can see, Millennials are those aged 18 to 35 today. I know a few and entitled isn’t a word I’d use to describe them. But hey. Anyway, I was more curious about the generation that follows – the Linksters. These are those born from 2002 onwards apparently. And, as I read, they’re called Linksters (or Generation Z) because they’re the ones who’ve been linked into technology from the start. They’re the tech-savvy one-year-olds who are puzzled when a picture won’t swipe. They’re the ones who probably won’t ever see the inside of a bricks-and-mortar bank, or perhaps buy a real book, or maybe even go to the cinema.
I’ve heard a number of TV and radio reports this week where Linksters were being interviewed and I’ve been seriously impressed with their self-confidence, their fluency, their assuredness. Blown away, in some cases. But I stopped to wonder whether self-confidence equates to capability. You can have all the confidence in the world but lack the ability needed to take you all the way. Will these fall short?
Then I saw an article about a group of 9th graders who could teach me a thing or two. They noticed that their concentration suffered if they slept with their mobiles by their heads so they decided to experiment and see if there was any scientific reason for this. They sowed some watercress seeds and put one sample in a room without wifi and another in a room between two wifi routers. All other conditions were equal. The results were quite alarming.
In a wifi free room, the cress flourished:
And in the room with wifi?
I’ve been thinking about this all day. I keep my phone in my bedroom at night because it’s also my alarm. I’m not too worried about calls or messages – I just want to be sure that I wake up. Suitably concerned, I’m on a search now for an old-fashioned alarm clock. The windy up kind. And there’s a wifi router in the bedroom, too. That’ll have to go.
I suppose I should be grateful to the Linksters for bringing this to my attention – I might now wake up awake in the mornings. But it’ll take practice. And I’ll need to remember to wind the clock. And I’ll need two at least. And… ahhhhh
***FACT CHECK UPDATE – apparently there’s some doubt about the accuracy of the experiment reported: https://www.snopes.com/cress-wifi-experiment/