Gen Z can make TikTok videos but can’t run a printer according to reports. (Source: Adobe Stock)

Youth Up to 26 Years Old Find Working with Office Machines Challenging

It is pretty common to hear stories of how older folks have a hard time operating digital phones or TVs and the like. It does make for some pretty funny sketch comedy when adults have to go to ask their grandkids how to use an app.

A story on points out Generation Z may be having similar problems operating certain office machines.

But when it comes to using a scanner or printer — or even a file system on a computer — things become a lot more challenging to a generation that has spent much of their lives online, according to The Guardian, which points to workplaces still relying on technologies that were around long before the youngsters were born.

“There is a myth that kids were born into an information age, and that this all comes intuitively to them,” Sarah Dexter, an associate professor of education at the University of Virginia, told the newspaper. “But that is not realistic. How would they know how to scan something if they’ve never been taught how to do it?”

For instance, 25-year-old New Yorker Garrett Bemiller admitted to The Guardian that he was stumped by a photocopy machine at his office.

“It kept coming out as a blank page, and took me a couple times to realize that I had to place the paper upside-down in the machine for it to work,” he said.

Educators have already found that the latest generation of students doesn’t get the concept of file folders and directories. Even astrophysics students had a hard time with the concept, as The Verge reported back in 2021.

Tech Shame

Most older workers understand the phrase “Google It.” Meaning we have learned to ask the internet or Youtube to show us videos of how to perform specific tasks. Asking for that kind of help has now become known as “tech shaming.”

HP found that young people are ten times more likely to feel “tech shame” as compared to older colleagues, according to a November survey, the result of a basic misjudgment.

So it turns out office machinery is like anything else we try to master. It takes practice. Hopefully not the 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell writes about.

Good Luck Gen Z.