Does it seem like the traditional (18-22) students showing up at your college or university are behaving more rudely than past generations of students? If you said yes it’s not necessarily an indicator that you are getting more crotchety. It appears there really is some truth to the notion that incoming students are more rude than past generations. But some new sociological studies suggest the students’ rude behavior isn’t intentional. Rather, they are simply exhibiting a more isolated form of behavior in which they are oblivious to adults like you. A new book documents the phenonmenon, and explains some of the reasons. What are some of these significant behavioral changes?:
You may recall the “Me Generation.” This late seventies – early eighties phenomenon spawned a generation with an egocentric life perspective characterized by a materialistic lifestyle. Today’s “Generation Me” is quite different. Generation Me has access to ubiquitous technology, and can always be in touch with peers even though they are isolated in their own technology bubble. Think of students who maintain contact with friends primarily through IM or social networks while alone in their room. So what can we do to better connect with Generation Me? What are good strategies to use the next time students are text messaging during your instruction session? Start by taking a look at this article that introduces some of the issues. It may be an issue that will take an organized effort on a campus geared towards developing more civility and community. Perhaps the best thing is for academic librarians to understand this phenomenon, realize that there’s more to uncivil behavior than meets the eye, and to work with academic colleagues to develop programming that will encourage students to emerge from their technology bubble.