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Is the Millennial Generation the Creative Generation?

A Pew Research study in 2007 indicated the rapid growth of content creation among teens as they engage the conversational aspects of social media.  In just three  years from 2004-2007, young people aged 12-17 engaged in content creation rose from 57% to 64%.    As the study details:

“Girls continue to dominate most elements of content creation. Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys, and 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys. Boys, however, do dominate one area – posting of video content online. Online teen boys are nearly twice as likely as online girls (19% vs. 10%) to have posted a video online somewhere where someone else could see it.”

The Pew study describes them as:

“… a subset of teens who are super-communicators — teens who
have a host of technology options for dealing with family and friends,
including traditional landline phones, cell phones, texting, social
network sites, instant messaging, and email. They represent about 28%
of the entire teen population and they are more likely to be older
girls.”

This means that a new generation not only wants to respond, but they also want to create.   If the World War II generation was (as Tom Brokaw called them) “The Greatest Generation,” and the Baby Boomers were the “Rock and Roll Generation,” perhaps the Millennials will be called the “Creative Generation.”

What do you think?

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8 Comments

  1. These are compelling stats that prompt an equally compelling question.  What are we doing to reach this generation and plug their creativity into kingdom resources?  They are responsive and creative but churches and most church programs are not.  As long as we are locked and loaded into long form traditions and content without any room for processing or response, Millennials will not feel they have a a place.  We’re going to loose them if we don’t wake up and leave the "one to many" communication model.

     Want some actions steps?  Here’s a couple:  1.  I get a conference of church leaders together to work on making services and programs interactive and creative.  2. Whether I have a church of 100 or 1,000 I find a 20 something person and develop a position called Director of Social Networking.  I wind him or her up and let them go!

    Keith Green once wrote a song called "Asleep in the Light."  I think if he were writing it today he call it "Comatose in the Light."  We’re on life support!  We have to wake up!!

  2. Why not the "digital generation" or the "video generation"?  Surely other generations have been creative.  They just haven’t been creative in digital mediums like blogs, photos, and video.  But they’ve painted, written music, and done lots and lots of community theatre.  Strange.  Now that much of the creative output happens in a digital medium, it is easier to measure that creative output.  But just because it’s being measured, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before – in the macro sense.  Right?

  3. Question: When do young people think?  When is their mind a clean slate for being creative?

    I watch my own kids go –while listening to their ipod –from texting to watching TV…back to  Iming…to video gaming.

    They ride in the car with a cell phone in one ear, music the other.  

     

    I know I sound like an old lady, but it concerns me that there never is a time that they are not entertained/distracted.

  4. i’m going to answer this in a roundabout way.  i’m 23, and sort of a part of the generation (based on wikipedia i am).

     

    i think the generation is not so much the "Creative Generation" as the "Content Generation".  i work with a number of students through youth groups, and some of the students are doing things that are "creative", but most of the students are just copying content because of how easy it’s gotten.  Honestly, i thought we were the "information generation", and i still think that’s the best way to describe us.

    There are countless remakes of SNL skits on youtube that feature a couple teens deciding to copy what they saw on the show.  There are thousands of videos of kids covering their favorite artist in front of a web cam.  Facebook ‘blogs’ are mostly students copying "answer these ten questions" into a new note.  Pictures are loaded, but most are just people pictures, not with creative intent.

     

    So back to the question: When do young people think?  When is their mind for being creative?

     

    Kids think while watching, reading, or listening to something someone else is doing.  There aren’t many moments where they are left alone with their thoughts.  When they are able to devote some time to themselves, or into doing something when the media isn’t around, they wind up thinking about what they’ve seen, and copy it.  Rather than creating content, the kids seem more intent on REcreating content. 

    Many of the students i interact with focus on doing what they’ve seen on other websites than trying to branch out.  They have the building blocks with technology and what they’ve been exposed to, but there doesn’t seem to be the desire to truly step out and explore in a creative way. 

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