Bill Gepford writes about the generation born since 1973, called by Leonard Sweet the Google Generation.
Gepford sums up the characteristics of this generation as:
- We don’t disconnect
- We multitask
- We expect information to come in multiple forms of media
- We prefer graphics to text, and video to graphics
- Finally, we are used to having everything at our fingertips whenever we want it
Now, this just makes me old, but my first conclusion based on this list is not that we need to go out and change the way we “do church” out of fear of sliding into irrelevancy.
My first move is to ask whether these things are good or not.
Just because a generation caught in the thrall of technology multi-tasks constantly does not mean multi-tasking is per se a good thing for a person to do while seeking to experience the Holy Spirit. Indeed, some research suggests that this generation suffers the same kinds of attention splintering effects of multi-tasking as previous ones. It just views that as normal.
It may be that lists such as Gepford’s are less an agenda for change and more a set of symptoms. The right question might not be “How do we adapt to these things” but “How do we de-toxify people enough that they can actually pray and worship?”