We've showed how Gen Y is going to change the web. In doing so, Gen Y is also changing the world. Despite all of this, the world of Generation Y eludes a lot of the previous generations. Generation Y is absorbed in a world made possible through technology. This is a key factor that is left out of the misconceptions made about Gen Y. Here's a glimpse into the world of Gen Y and how they're using technology.

Raising Social Awareness Through Facebook

Generation Y is arguably the most socially conscious generation in existence. They're well aware of how social changes affect them and use the internet as a tool to keep them aware of what's going on. Gen Yers are making their stances well known on Facebook. In 2006, the top 10 advocacy groups on Facebook were:


  1. Reduce the Drinking Age to 18! - 111,275

  2. Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - 80,458

  3. Americans for Alternative Energy - 69,465

  4. Support a Woman's Right to Choose - 66,806

  5. Support Stem Cell Research - 55,219

  6. Abolish Abstinence Only Sex Education - 54,712

  7. Government + Religion = Disaster - 47,949

  8. AIDS / HIV research - 24,789

  9. Equal Rights for Gays - 24,013

  10. Pro-Life - 22,409

While Gen Y still participates in rallies, protests, and group meetings, for them it's a lot easier to start a movement with a Facebook group and let the masses join in. These groups are not being ignored either. Money is donated daily, boycotts are being arranged quicker, and news is spreading faster. Gen Y is taking technology and advocacy to another level.

Adopting New Mediums of Information

Generation Y doesn't read books. Well, a lot of people aren't reading books these days. However, one should always factor in the following: technology is very important to Generation Y. They may not always read books because there are newer mediums of information to utilize. Looking at the old medium such as books from libraries, according to a study done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

"Gen Y are the leading users of libraries for help solving problems and in more general patronage.

Libraries drew visits by more than half of Americans (53%) in the past year for all kinds of purposes, not just the problems mentioned in this survey. And it was the young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (age 18-30) who led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the most likely to use libraries for problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose.

Furthermore, it is young adults who are the most likely to say they will use libraries in the future when they encounter problems: 40% of Gen Y said they would do that, compared with 20% of those above age 30 who say they would go to a library."

However, Gen Y is a technologically advanced generation. So, of course Gen Y won't read books or newspapers in the way that previous generations did. Gen Y goes online to get information. They read more blogs than any other generation. They receive the news from online sources and they may even venture into buying an eBook or two. Gen Y certainly won't write off traditional mediums of information. However, they've adopted and embraced the technological advancements that are taking place to better receive information.

A Real P2P Network

Generation Y is full of lazy and self-indulgent kids. If only I had a dollar for every time I heard that statement. This is probably the most ridiculously perpetuated stereotype of Generation Y. Gen Y expects to be rewarded for doing the smallest amount of work. They're only in it for themselves. However, they can't be too bad if they're the most marketed to generation. While they're occasionally self-indulgent (who isn't?), Gen Yers do their part when it comes to helping others.

For example, when entering college, peers amongst Gen Y are more than willing to go out of their way to help the incoming class of students. On my college campus, groups are set up on Facebook and Myspace to help students get to and from Walmart. Web site addresses are exchanged for students to find out the campus ratings for their professors. Tutoring sessions are done online and offline by Juniors and Seniors, not the faculty, and these are activities that are seen across college campuses nationwide. They've advanced the real-life version of peer-2-peer systems using social networks and more.

Moving Above and Beyond

This is only a glimpse into the world of Generation Y. While Generation Y is very technologically advanced, they're more likely to adopt technologies that help themselves and others whether it's for organizing boycotts, keeping up with the news, or helping peers. They don't just adopt these technologies just because they're out there. They adopt them because of what they can do with them. To conclude, ad agency executive Marian Salzman, states:

"Some of them are the greatest generation. They're more hardworking. They have these tools to get things done. They are enormously clever and resourceful. Some of the others are absolutely incorrigible."