Clay Shirky writes: "Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. The invention of a tool doesn't create change; it has to be around long enough that most of society is using it... for our young people today, our new social tools have passed normal and heading to ubiquitous, and invisible is coming."
This observation, better than anything else I've seen so far, encapsulates the differences I talk about in Generation Blend. Pre-digital generations find social computing technology novel, and perhaps threatening. At the very least, it takes some conscious effort to embrace and understand because it is so different from prior experience. GenX finds the technology interesting, having grown up concurrently with IT innovation and surrounded by a constant conversation about the improving capabilities of new tools. We tend to be the ham radio operators, fiddling with the tubes and transistors instead of listening to the broadcasts.
Most Millennials, except those very self-consciously participating in discussions about technology and society, don't seem to think much about the tools, anymore than you would think about the pane of glass in a window rather than the view outside. I suspect they secretly laugh at GenXers (like Shirky and me) who fetishize this whole relationship between technology and social transformation and are much more interested in the content of new conversations than the wires through which they travel.