Within the context of a finance/banking and technology perspective, a new friend cites industry authorities. With good statistical reasons, he believes that Millennials
- prefer phone apps over traditional banking with “tellers”
- trust “FinTech” companies over banks for most consumer-oriented financial purposes
I’m sure my friend is right, yet I question the wisdom, scope, and longevity of some of the enterprises in which Millennials are apparently placing their trust. My ruminations have continued about generational technology preferences and general inclinations. I don’t keep in mind the year-boundaries that are used to delineate between the “Baby Boom” and “GenX” and “GenY”/Millennial generational groupings, so I get foggy, but of this I am sure: there will always be exceptions within the groups.
Based on age, my friend would be classed as a Millennial, but he is thoughtful and intelligent, a unique set of experiences in the world, so I imagine that he would be somewhat an exception himself, defying any label “Millennial” at points.
As for myself, sometimes, I am kind of an “old soul” who harks back to the values of minds and spirits of the long-ago past. In some respects, I share the opinions and worldviews of those 5-10 years older than I, or even of my parents’ generation. In other spheres, I am an impatient whippersnapper who wants desperately to move past silly traditions and pointless machinations. In all, I long for substance and actual value over form. Perhaps I am a quasi-postmodernist-1/3-Boomer-1/3-GenXer with a few GenY traits (who experiences deep angst about being labeled at all).
It’s no surprise that Millennials will gravitate to phone apps. As for me, I see the apps’ shortcomings and inefficiencies, as compared to desktop computers and even in-person banking. Are all Millennials so oriented? I must admit that I wonder about those individuals who don’t own printed Bibles and who never see more than a tiny screen’s worth of scripture text at a time. Yes, I use a Bible phone app, and I greatly appreciate its capabilities. I like running Bible software on my computer even more, because it allows me to see more and to use it in other dimensions and formats. It simply must be admitted that seeing only 3-4 verses at a time on a tiny phone screen will have ramifications, including limiting one’s contextual awareness.
I also wonder frequently about the interpersonal connectedness of anyone—Millennial or otherwise—
- whose neck and hand are permanently locked into the look-at-my phone position
- whose quick first impulse is to go to the mobile device for answers
Could it be that non-high-tech sources are better for some things in life?
I remember two very fine students who were the only two (that I knew) without their own cell phones. I remember each of the students as very having very strong character, and as being spiritually sensitive, service-oriented people. One was particularly focused and engaged as a student, and they were both dedicated to their studies and to people. I can see each of their faces as if it were yesterday, and it has been five years since I last saw them.
Now, I would strongly suspect each of those students has one or more mobile devices at this point, but my point is that those Millennials were really okay without devices then. I’d say their whole selves were at the time wonderfully unfettered by phonedom, and they were none the worse for it. Quite possibly, they were better off, not having all the technologies their peers had.
In the next post I’ll deal with technology in instruction, touching on “distance learning.”