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According to a recent "Times" newspaper, Microsoft Psychologists have decided that there are "3 Ages Of Office Worker":

N-GENS (18-25 years old)

These workers have grown up online, and at ease with the world of technology. Are much better at using technology than their older colleagues. Lack confidence in themselves, fear themselves and the world around them, and will hide behind technology.

PC-GENS(25-34)

Grew up using a PC, but not the Internet. Unlikely to use technology to its full potential because they remain wary of its powers. Often avoids technology by rationalizing that it doesn't really help.

TV-GENS(35-Plus)

Unsure of technology. Strong sense of self. Proper balance in life. Scared of technology. Overwhelmed by it. Turn backs on technology saying the old ways are better.



I don't think it's possible to let this go without adding some subjectivity. So, having read the conclusions of this report, I'm inclined to say... bollocks.

It's true that there are undoubtedly people around who do fall neatly into those categories. However, in my experience, a persons age has very little to do with which group they fit into.

"Scared of technology. Overwhelmed by it. Turn backs on technology saying the old ways are better."

When I was 6 years old, my Grandad bought a computer "for us Grandkids to play with". As it happens, he ended up using it pretty much constantly and got into programming, getting me interested along the way. If he hadn't, I probably wouldn't be in this job, or online now typing this...

"These workers have grown up online, and at ease with the world of technology. Are much better at using technology than their older colleages. Lack confidence in themselves, fear themselves and the world around them, and will hide behind technology"

That's me then apparently. Are they saying that I automatically lack confidence because I rely on technology? Could it not be possible that people in this age group simply have less experience than their colleagues, which will naturally make them a little insecure at first, whatever field they work in?

"Grew up using a PC, but not the Internet. Unlikely to use technology to its full potential because they remain wary of its powers. Often avoids technology by rationalizing that it doesn't really help."

Well, that brings me to the whole point of this rant. At what age does a person stop "growing up"? The real problem with this report is that it assumes that by the time you reach 18 you've already learned everything that you'll ever need or want to know. So what if a 30 year old didn't have the option of using the internet to do their school homework? Does that automatically mean that they weren't first in line to use the Internet when it later became available?

When I was at school, there was one English teacher who absolutely refused to let anyone word process anything, while other (sometimes older) teachers could appreciate the benefits of actually being able to read my work, so sure, some people are like this.



The point, though, is that it all depends on the individual, and what the study should really have concentrated on is why some people of whatever age are scared of technology and progress. In my (not so humble) opinion, a company with as much spare cash as Microsoft would do better to invest money into getting those people interested in computers instead of commissioning pointless and ill-thought out "ageist" reports which may adversely influence the decisions of people responsible for hiring employees.

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