We are the Generation of…
Even though we look forward to receiving and analysing the answers to all of the questions within this pioneering questionnaire, personally, I must admit that I was looking forward to seeing the answers to one question in particular, more than any one of the other 148.
This question in particular is one of the only qualitative questions included within the questionnaire, which asks participants to write their answers, rather than tick a box. This provides participants the opportunity to answer the question in their own words, rather than being confined by options that have already been prepared for them beforehand. It’s a very open, quite general question, that was bound to produce original, unique and extremely interesting data. I am pleased to announce that I have not been disappointed!
This particular question asks participants to finish the following statement…
“We are the Generation of…”
I must admit, giving the freedom for participants to answer the question without any boundaries could have the potential to produce some… colourful answers! However, amidst a few questionable responses, were many funny, intelligent and thoughtful answers.
By today, the top two words used to define this generation is ‘the future’ and ‘technology. These are two very appropriate descriptions of this generation. Indeed, we cannot deny that we are the generation of the future! In addition, we cannot disregard the vast changes and developments within the production and distribution of digital material over the last decade. The fact that the participants of this questionnaire indicate ‘technology’ as one of the main characteristics of their generations further emphasises this, and highlights the integral importance and influence that the digital world has within our day-to-day lives. Therefore, it is completely appropriate that this survey has been conducted online.
The third most popular word used to finish the sentence is ‘uncertainty’. Conveniently, this term can be used to generalize many other answers as well. These include adjectives such as, ‘uncertain’, ‘lost’, and ‘confused’. This portrays a generation that is clearly living in a period of high uncertainty. There were many references to politics while answering the question, which suggests that this could be the underlying cause for this uncertainty and confusion. Here are some examples:
“We are the generation of…”
‘That lost the NHS’, ‘austerity’, ‘doomed by the left’, ‘damaged by Blair.’
An interesting, unexpected finding, were the small number of negative description of the ones that belong to this generation. They were referred to as a generation that have ‘no back bone’, that are ‘unimaginative’ and are ‘irresponsible’. This suggests that it is not only the politicians that are being blamed, but rather they are blaming each other as well.
Nevertheless, I am glad to say that it’s not all doom and gloom! We received many positive answers to describe this generation as well, such as a ‘strong, ‘equal’ and ‘multi-cultural’ generation. Is there a feeling amongst some participants that we are living in a period of progress rather than loss?
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