What is it to protect and feel protected? Boomers vs. Millenials

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Rebecca, a 25 year old Yale graduate.   We talked about the Era of Connection and the shift into the Era of Protection.

“An important thing to understand,” Rebecca began, ” is that my parents and I have a very different views of protection.  For my parents, protection is control: it is a 401K and equity in their home.  For me, protection is fluid and based on others: it is a rich and authentic social network.  For example, I just left a fantastic job and my parents are concerned, but, really, I’m not.  I have a rich social network of friends and mentors to guide me. I know I can count on them and that they can count on me, I have places to stay and people to connect with. Through my network, I’ll know what’s going on, find interesting opportunities and have support while I am exploring.”

Millenials grew up with social networks that grew organically. They don’t hesitate to “friend” someone from their third grade class — and then sleep on their couch as they drive across country. These kind of thing is as natural to a Millenial as a telephone was to a Boomer in his/her teen years.  Rebecca’s world view has been shaped significantly by her experiences growing up, along with her peers, as an active participant on social networks.

Douglas Atkin, founded The Glue Project.  We discussed Rebecca and he’s added his own related insights about community to this story.

Published by Linda Stone

I coined the phrases continuous partial attention, email apnea, and screen apnea. I write about attention and our relationship to technology.

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