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Adapt or Die: Millennials, Technology, and Net Neutrality

Photo by Credo Action CC BY 2.0

It was two days before the FCC repealed Net Neutrality, and I was at a talk given by a baby boomer about my generation, Millennials, and the vastly changing workplace in America.

The theme of this talk was the workplace needs to adapt to the Millennial Generation or die. Companies like Sears and J.C. Penney are dying because they have not adapted to the Millennial Generation, but more importantly in this speaker’s eyes they haven’t adapted to technology.

Millennials, technology, and the end of Net Neutrality. These aren’t just items of a list, they are interlocked and interconnected. Millennials are now the ethos of the workplace, and technology is the ethos of capitalism. That’s really what this speaker was subconsciously telling his audience.

In 2015, Millennials officially became the largest generation in the workforce. By 2030, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. This is where the “adapt or die” capitalist mentality is permeating in the halls of corporate boardrooms.

The tech savvy capitalists see baby boomers in the workplace are becoming a thing of the past. They understand 10,000 baby boomers a day are retiring. And that this retirement extravaganza will only pave the way for companies to further embrace adapting to the there’s an app for that, or artificial intelligence for this mantra.

Using emails will become a thing of the past, by as soon as 2020. The reason, Millennials and Generation Z would rather text, instant message, or use social media to communicate. Many people under 20 don’t even have a personal email address.

To some of us this is mind boggling, including this Millennial. Emails contain too much information, they take too long to read, and they don’t cut to the chase. This is what my generation and Generation Z believes.

The worship of technology has become a race to get information faster through machines, these machines will be able to throw so much information at us in such a short period of time. Information, data, numbers, applications, and artificial intelligence are the gospels to the holy book of this technological age.

It’s a race for who can give us the most information the fastest, but not too much text in this information because we don’t have the attention span for that. Communication is becoming short, shorter, and shortest. Just ask President Tweeter Tatter.

And this is all being run through the Internet. And as the way we use the Internet is about to change. As we fight against the repeal of Net Neutrality let us also reflect on the Internet and what it is doing to us.

The Internet is changing the way we think, concentrate, and process information. Studies are showing the Internet is lowering our concentration because the Internet offers constant distractions. It’s reducing our attention span, and it’s ruining our interpersonal communication skills. Basically this technology is dehumanizing us.

And while we choose to stare at a screen instead of stare out a screen what are we spending our time on with this precious neutral Internet for?

Emailing, social networking, shopping, and streaming. This is what butters the bread of the Internet. But how about adding pornography to that list?

In 2016, humans spent over 4.5 billion hours watching pornography just on one website called Porn Hub. 4.5 billion hours is twice the amount of hours human beings have existed on planet earth. One year of pornography viewing on one website equals more hours than humans have existed on the planet.

These are the things that we should be reflecting on as we react to our changing Internet. Like everyone I am outraged at the FCC. But I am also outraged the Internet is turning our brains and communication skills to mush.

To the 10,000 baby boomers retiring everyday, please unretire. We need you for one last job. It’s a big one, but I know there are some of you that are up for the task. We need you to teach Millennials and Generation Z the interpersonal skills to communicate our displeasure of the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality. This displeasure can’t be communicated by a tweet, but it needs to be communicated out in the streets. We were born around rapidly changing technology. We adapt to this new technology, but we are losing sight of our humanity as we immerse ourselves the new technology that is constantly being paraded out to us.

We have been asking you to adapt or die to us and our technology, but maybe we are the ones that need to adapt or die.

We need to adapt our attention spans, our concentration, and our interpersonal communication skills. Because otherwise we are going to die in the workplace via artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence doesn’t take vacations, sick days, it won’t unionize, it won’t demand a raise, and when its parts start failing it already knows how to repair itself without skipping a beat.

So to those of you in my generation (Millennials) and in Generation Z, when our worship for technology replaces our jobs we can take to Twitter to tweet our frustrations, but just remember getting the “Twitter Package” from your Internet provider will be an extra $9.95 per month.