Gen Z, boomers face disconnect with how data is stored

The concept of computer files and folders are gibberish to many Gen Zers, as different generations have differing understandings of computers and how they function, according to a Sept. 22 report by The Verge.

Six things to know:

  1. For generations that did not grow up with computers, files are thought to have a directory structure to arrange computer files. Computer folders replicate organized filing cabinets.

  2. For the younger generations, like Gen Zers, who were born after 1996, computers are thought to have an infinite expanse without a physical placement. Many Gen Zers are saving all files, no matter how many, on their desktop without organization.

  3. Analogies for sorting computer files, like filing cabinets, are no longer useful as Gen Zers store data in drop boxes and hard drives instead of physical spaces. Social apps like TikTok and Instagram are all pulling from an endless sea of online content rather than a nested hierarchy, which also influences how Gen Zers perceive data storage.

  4. Older generations, like baby boomers, didn't have access to search functions. They had to know exactly where each file was saved, sometimes buried under several subfolders.

  5. For CIOs, it may present a new opportunity to strategize how data is presented to younger employees and patients. Search functions may be more useful than a shared drive that requires remembering where each file is hosted.

  6. A disconnect between generations may also play an influential role in website design and how patients access their health data, as even the most tech-savvy generation may hit barriers when seeking files.

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