The Mindset List?

Have you heard of the Mindset List?  In a New York Times article, Nick Bilton explains:

“Every year the administrators at Wisconsin’s Beloit College put together a list of information about incoming freshmen that is shared with the school’s professors. It’s not a list of student names, or the books they’ll need to order for class. Instead, professors are told about the ‘cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.’

It is called the Mindset List.

The list was first developed in 1998 by Tom McBride and Ron Nief, faculty members at Beloit, with the goal of helping the school’s professors avoid ‘dated references’ and understand the perspective of the next generation.

So how is the class of 2014 different from previous classes? They’re more digital, of course.

First and foremost, few entering college this year have ever written in cursive. And this mobile phone generation has ‘never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.’

They also rarely use e-mail. Why? Because it’s just too slow. And you can imagine how much they use snail mail: ‘rarely.’

Another insight that shows how quickly things change is this one: The class of 2014 has ‘never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.’ They don’t own watches and instead use their cellphones to tell the time.”

Check out the entire Mindset List here.

Now I realize you cannot stereotype an entire generation.  For example, my 11 year old son knows what a wristwatch is.  He loves and collects them.  In fact, he wears three of them at the same time.

Even still, what other insights have you noticed about the emerging generation?

What “dated language” should we avoid in our non-profit organizations and churches?

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