Much has already been written of the differences between Generations X and Y, specifically regarding the way in which they absorb and utilise both technology and information. Newsweek recently described Generation X as “the generation that dropped out without ever turning on the news or tuning in to the social issues around them.”
As I was born in Generation Y, social media has been prevalent throughout my formative years; from Bebo in 2005 through to Twitter in 2013. This ultimately means that from the age of 12, I and others within my Generation have constantly and passively received information and of course then passed it on.
Generation Y also doesn’t watch the news via television, nor do we buy a newspaper; instead we receive our news and updates from websites like BuzzFeed. Here news is broken down to make it as engaging and accessible as possible, enabling us to easily tune into social issues .The prevalence of social media also means that anybody has the ability to express their thoughts to the world at any time. Therefore Generation Y is often expected to have an opinion on everything and actually, frequently does.
In the summer, the Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that “A younger generation of leaders is at the forefront of a digital revolution in the NHS, and they can drive change without using old fashioned working groups and committees.”
“Generation Y brings new attitudes, skill sets and values to the NHS workforce. We are already leading on the ground, with such initiatives as NHS Change Day, NHS Hack Day and many other ongoing social movements for quality improvement.”
The constant news stories and opinion pieces about the difficulties involving the NHS, surrounding issues such as A&E waiting times and mortality rates means that the NHS has inevitably come under scrutiny from a socially aware, media-savvy Generation Y. Generation Y expects transparency and for information to be readily available, particularly from governmental bodies.
As Generation Y has moved into the working world we have taken our enthusiasm to drive change and personal view of technology and enablement with us. We will continue to dictate how and where we wish to work, and the means by which we gain insight from data and then subsequently utilise this information to help us. Already relying heavily on mobile technology, we will expect information to be easily accessible and concise across multiple platforms, including tablets and Smartphone.
Orlando Agrippa, Associate Director of Business Informatics (Analytics) NHS, describes tech-savvy employees within the NHS as ‘iDoctors’, highlighting the emphasis placed on mobile technology. Generation Y, much like previous Generations, does not work the routine hours of 9-5, however rather than staying behind in the office, social media and mobile technology mean that we truly do take our work home with us.
As a Generation used to receiving information rapidly, often in 140 characters or less, Generation Y wants to understand things quickly and collaborate with other users wherever we may be working, to truly get the job done.