Gen Y to boomers: You stink at Interweb

Guess what, boomers? Generation Y thinks you're kinda inept. At tech-related things, that is.

According to an Ernst and Young study released Friday, 45 percent of boomers say they're comfortable using technology, but only 9 percent of Generation Y (born after 1980) think that boomers are adept at tech.

Maybe Gen Y doesn't know a thing about boomer familiarity with the "Interweb," but consider this: Dan Black, E&Y's director of campus recruiting for the Americas, says these misperceptions can cause big problems in the workplace.

About 84 percent of Gen Y'ers use technology to avoid difficult conversations (send them an e-mail), while boomers prefer discussing difficult subjects in person or over the phone.

"It creates a gap in understanding," Black said.

Younger people think that boomers' inefficiencies with tech create lost opportunities for their workplace, he said, while boomers think that members of Gen Y need to work on having more face-to-face interactions.

Brian, born in 1946, runs the Savvy Boomer. The blog evolved into a forum for musings about his generation. The Savvy Boomer uses instant messaging and computers and video players and iPhones (well, actually, he kinda hates the iPhone) with ease.

"My first comment to anybody who says something like that is, 'Don't forget who invented technology,' " the Savvy Boomer said (he doesn't want his last name used because the last time he was quoted, he attracted an Internet stalker of sorts).

After all, Bill Gates (born 1955, started Microsoft in 1975) is a boomer. So is Steve Jobs, who was born the same year as Gates.

So if Boomers invented tech, why do they get such a bad rap?

Well, the Savvy Boomer says his generation uses technology as a means to an end. Younger folks use technology as the end.

Ernst and Young, ever helpful, has some tips for reconciling boomers and Gen Y on this subject: Boomers should invite younger folks to more meetings. Younger folks should teach boomers more about tech.

"We can all challenge ourselves to uncover issues, resolve misunderstandings, build relationships and improve team performance, even if a difficult conversation is required," according to the study.

It doesn't specify whether this difficult conversation should be done in person or online.

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