This article, “‘Millennials’ an always on, texting generation” and it’s subsequent sub-headline, “Technology’s role is key distinction for those born after 1980, report finds” is worth the read, if you’re cautious of the hype. This article, and a few recent ones like it from USAToday and others, is on the money, but just because Millennial’s think technology is their defining trait doesn’t make it exactly so.
Every generation might arguably exclaim that technology in some way defines them, especially in eras following massive booms in industrial progress (cars, planes, plastics, microchips). What we need to be careful of is stopping the introspection there (and to be fair, it’s the rest of this article, from , “It’s Not Just About Gadgets” onward that does better service). It’s how Millennials USE technology and how it affects their perceptions and behavior that truly defines the unique traits. It’s not as though other generations aren’t utilizing the same technology. (Arguably, “technology” shouldn’t be the unique trait of a generation at age 25 unless that kid was born in a vat and their parents weren’t.) I know 30 and 40-something executives that are as much a slave to their Blackberry and iPhone as any teen is to their texting phone.
Also, be careful to note they say the Millennial is anyone born after 1980- that’s a huge 30-year swath… I’d say 1980-2000 and be cautious enough to note that there are some radically different concepts of authenticity and privacy among those being brought up now vs. those 30 years old right now.