Millennials, the fact checking generation
When the printing press arrived, knowledge that was once confined to extremely expensive handwritten books was suddenly available in relatively cheap printed editions. Knowledge, that had been difficult to gain, became easily available. This meant that it was now possible to fact check the experts on any given subject. Once that started, it never stopped. Long standing ideas about the world came crashing down and our highly technical, scientifically literate civilization rose from the ashes.
But books are limited. It isn’t always possible to find what you are looking for in a particular book. The information may be in another book you’ve never heard of. And how long does it take to find a book you don’t know exists? A simple fact check can turn into a research project. Nevertheless, the printing press changed the world by making knowledge far more accessible than it had ever been before.
That same change is happening again, and it is the millennials who are at the point of the spear. They are the first truly digital generation. They have never known a world without the Internet and the Internet is capable of fact checking at the speed of light. Which is why millennials are the least trusting generation. While the young have always had a healthy sense of doubt, millennials now have the ability to determine the truth or falsity of what they are told. They have reality at their fingertips.