We had a discussion in class today, my Gen M students and me. It’s a small class normally, but one was absent…so now there were five. Eng 100 students all. They sat in a small circle at 5:30, tonight, talking about technology and the shift from how my generation (Gen X) used it to theirs.
One of my students said something rather profound as we chatted about a post of mine in preparation for them to make the leap first to commentators and then, I hope, to bloggers.
Mohammed said, “We [Gen M’s] are definitely more social because of technology, but we’re less personal because of it, too.”
I knew what he meant – Gen M’s communicate digitally – with their PCs, cell phones, and Blackberries. They text even when they’re in the same room rather than talking, sometimes. They IM to save the gas in the $3 per gallon market – they party in chat rooms and decorate their MySpaces so their virtual friends can hang out.
But as I sat there with my students, watching them really engage for the first time this quarter about the technology they are, (and in some cases are not) vested in, I happily listened to them start circulating ideas for their blog comments, which aren’t due on the blog site until Friday. This from a group of pre-college credit English students!
I’ve got to say… it felt pretty personal to me.