The Millennial Mind – High Tech, Low Touch

This past weekend my wife and I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott with the new GoBoards – basically large flat screens that you can touch to access news, weather, and maps. As we were waiting to check in, I was drawn to this large, bright screen like a bug to a bug zapper and immediately started going to work on it. At the same time a  young boomer couple was with the front desk clerk with a large paper fold out map and a half-dozen questions on where this was or how to get to that. In less time I not only knew where this was and how to get to that, I read the US Today news feed and checked the weather during our stay.

It amazed me how I went directly to the computer and really had no desire to speak to the clerk and the boomer couple had no desire to even look at the computer but went right to the clerk. Given the choice I would have preferred an automated check-in and bypassed the clerk all-together.

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3 Responses to The Millennial Mind – High Tech, Low Touch

  1. Jeff Layton says:

    I’m the same way. I wonder if it’s partially a thing of being introverted or also wanting control and independence over the process.

    • barrettjf says:

      As an extrovert by nature I can certainly say technology has inadvertently made my desires for human interaction less but this normally translates to trying to avoid people that slow me down.

  2. WL says:

    …what I see as problematic, is that both approaches have their appeal. While you go to the GoBoard, you may miss out on some personal interaction that is helpful (insider tips of nearby issues that may be more directly applicable than yelp or whatever, quality of the hotel you are staying in, enjoying talking to another human being, experience of how to actually use a map, etc.) while the boomers are missing out on additional details offered by being connected and accessing information directly.

    It’s a mixed bag. I think like barrettjf says, there are likely a number of factors that create a desired expereince, but honestly ~ as a tail-end Baby Gen X Boomer who loves technology and all the intertubes have to offer ~ both approaches have their own appeal and disadvantages.

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