I was exchanging emails with a friend about Wifi access. I was tweeting yesterday on the way to the Keflavik Airport that it is cool that the Bus had Wifi in it and how I wish all airports and public transports provide free wifi service. My friend who moved from Iceland to Scotland said

Here in Scotland (and I assume the UK) nearly all inter-city, including commuter buses for shorter routes and some intra city buses have wi-fi. It’s really funny to see the generation gap on the buses. Those roughly over 45 almost never have a pad computer or iphone in use and nearly everyone from 15-30 yrs. are completely oblivious to the outside world while they hack away on their machines. Those who are 31-44 yrs. are a toss up as far as I can see (probably due to the fact that they are often with small children!).

This made me think about the generation gaps that exists today. Generation Gap The younger generation (15 yrs and younger) has grown up always knowing about computers, mobile phones and the Internet. I was also reminded by Fred Wilson‘s post about “Life Liberty and Blazing Broadband“, the needs of the younger generation are dramatically different than what it was maybe a decade ago. I don’t have in-depth data but I think the image below is representative… it is the reach Startup Iceland Page has on Facebook. I know that Startup Iceland may not be very representative of how the reach of a topic needs to be but the fact is it still reached a higher portion of younger demography (18 – 24) than the 45-54 age cohort.
This gap is real, I wish the generation that is 35+ gets over it and jumps into the technology that is going to connect them back to the younger generation because I believe this is the biggest opportunity we have today. No point in time where you could say you have a friend who is 20 years younger than you but it does not sound creepy. I have tried very hard to keep up with the younger generation and that means giving up on some biases, being empathetic and jump with the flow. I have learnt a lot watching the younger generation that last 4 years while I have been helping entrepreneurs and also being an entrepreneur myself. I think it is great, I feel very good about the next generation atleast the ones that I have been interacting with are responsible, know where they stand and want to really change the world that fits their needs. I think Technology is a great enabler, but we need to embrace it and try to ensure that we are the masters of this domain. I try to use it to build relationships with people as diverse as you can get and it has made all the difference in the world. I would encourage anyone reading this, if you don’t have a Twitter account go and create one, if you don’t have FourSquare get one… if you don’t have a smartphone go get one. It may be the best investment you made in getting connected to the future.