Generation Y

Day twenty five of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’.  Being left-handed has been a problem throughout the ages.  Perhaps a mild irritation would be a better description or even a slight inconvenience.  Either way I have been thinking about whether or not handedness will become a bigger or smaller problem in the future.

The answer is yes, of course, in future handedness will become a bigger or smaller problem.  Actually it may stay the same.  But which one will it be?

The people who are coming through society now are known as Generation Y or Millennials.  This is the people who were born after Generation X and usually means those who came into the world anywhere between 1980 and 2000.  They are sometimes known as Generation We, the Global Generation, Generation Next or even Generation Net but none of these would have fitted neatly into the title of the blog.  Y had to be it.

Anyway, they have been born into a very different world than the one that I grew up in.  The rise of technology has seen to that.  A long time ago I was proud to say that I was the first person in my company to have an email address (I wasn’t in ICT at the time) and the first to have a mobile rather than a car phone.  Now an email account is a little passé and the whole world has a smartphone.  What I used to consider as very modern is now outmoded and outdated.  I am a victim of history.

I work in Information and Communication Technology and I am both fascinated by and passionate about how it is used to improve our lives.  I accept that not all technological advances are good yet it is undeniable that we now have access to more information and more opportunity than at any time in human history.  The question from the perspective of this blog is ‘Will technologies reduce the prevalence of right-handedness in human society?’

More and more of what we are doing is through a computer.  Smartphones are handed but I am as deft using mine with either paw.  The QWERTY key board is still the dominant from of information entry into devices and a proficient typist will use both hands.  I am not aware of the need to change the keys around to create a POIUYT keyboard.

Voice recognition is on the rise.  It has been around for some time especially in office environments in order to replace dictation but more recently it has been launched for hand-held devices.  Applications such as Ask Google and Microsoft’s Cortana enable the user to interact with their device in a much more human friendly way, that is by talking to it.  You ask a question and it gives you an answer.  These kinds of technologies will only grow.

Yes there will be a need for some time for precision instruments that require the use of the hand.  These will always present a problem or those who prefer the hand for which it was not designed but how long will it be before these interactions are taken over by the machine?  Will the spoken word reassert itself over the written form and will 3D printing overtake the physical creative process?

If so then handedness may become an anachronism.

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