Today’s youth…and even gen X (of which I’m a part of), are walking through life with ear buds in, immersing in whatever music/media makes them happy. I know there’s a great time and place for this form of entertainment or escape, but I see an overwhelming percentage of gen Y and younger walking around interacting only with an ipod or a cell phone. It seems ironic that "communication tools, social media tools, and collaboration tools" are exploding but it seems that more and more youth can’t write well or speak well for that matter.
I’ve just consulted with a good friend of mine who’s tried to find talented interns to work in a very dynamic collaboration software start up in Southern CA. He’s had NO luck with hundreds of resumes in a robust market where they all seem to be "Facebook, nihilist, politics suck, Bush is an idiot, no hobbies, can’t talk or write oblivious to the world" types.
I’m obviously generalizing here but I think that it will take a new Renaissance to awaken the spirits of Gen Z. Ditch your noise cancelling "only my world exists for me" ear buds for a week and take a listen. You might encounter some things you like.