During a coffee meeting, our group was discussing the digital transformation. We talked about the trends we were seeing and what we believed would have the most impact on our businesses this year. Based on my research for a book I’m writing, I anticipate historical changes this year.
We’ll look back at 2016 as the year of change.
While listening to the others talk, I wondered – what if this is more than just a technology upgrade? What if, this period is a revolution and evolutionary shift of humanity? Or will we experience a shift in our social and political views?
For this blog post, my focus is digital technology. As we adapt to these new technologies, we make changes in our behaviors which impacts our professional and personal relationships. I believe when social scientists review history 100 years from now, they will be able to chart the changes in humanity starting with the launch of social media and iPhone.
I can see how we’re changing without any proven scientific study. How we altered our behaviors to adapt to the Internet and social media were subtle and without notice.
Regardless of your position on the matter, Generation Y and all future generations will think, act, and communicate differently. Their brains will be wired differently and what the digital brain believes to be important will be different.
As we continue to outsource basic human functions to our mobile devices and apps, these behavior and biological changes will be evident in how the younger generations learn and work. I’ve changed how I think and work, writing on paper almost seems foreign as I can gather my thoughts more efficiently on a WordPress template or in Grammarly.
Technology has always impacted humans; at what level digital technology will alter the human brain is difficult to determine at this point. We’re still early in the adoption, and human biology evolves much slower than technology.
The difference is beyond the standard generational differences we’ve seen in the past; this is evolutionary. As our thinking patterns change so do our beliefs and what we believe to be important.
Being connected 24/7/365 and having the world at their fingertips will continue to fuel the transformation. Many of these changes are invisible which make it more difficult to determine which behaviors or characteristics are different. If you ask anyone older than 30, they know something has profoundly changed, they just can’t put their finger on it.
For all businesses, regardless of the industry, understanding how the digital workforce thinks and makes decisions is crucial.