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These days, younger people are referred to as the ‘touchscreen generation’ — and for good reason. Most of them were practically born with tablets and smartphones in their hands.

A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that 92 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they own a smartphone. What’s more, 87 percent of 14- to 18-year-olds said they own and use a smartphone, in a 2016 poll by Adestra, meaning those young adults have been swiping and surfing mobily for years.

With the advent of the internet and technology, the human experience has radically transformed, opening people up to more information now than ever before. Technology is a major part of this generation’s experience. It’s enabled them to learn and connect with others’ perspectives in a way that stimulates a higher level of creativity.

It’s not only a tool that inspires creativity, it’s also used to share that creativity. This generation is joining what American economist and social scientist Richard Florida calls the ‘creative class’ — a class of workers who are tasked with developing new ideas and creative content.

Here’s how creativity and technology are being merged by the touchscreen generation:

Building supportive networks

Cyberbullying consistently makes the headlines, but there are actually several benefits to our connected world for younger generations that are ignored. For instance, a June 2012 report by Common Sense Media found that one in five teens said social media makes them feel more confident, compared with just 4 percent who said it makes them feel less so.

What’s more, tech has had a much different impact on how they relate to others than is commonly thought — 52 percent said social media made their friendships better, compared to just 4 percent who said it negatively affected those relationships. Fifty-seven percent of teens even said they met a new friend online, according to a 2015 survey from Pew Research Center.

Technology makes building a network more efficient. It’s important to connect and build a rapport with peers at any age. Being immersed in a community that inspires creativity and ignites new ideas, encourages people to keep growing and developing.

For example, social media gives students the chance to learn and join specific groups in order to pursue passions and interests. This actually helps them gain traction in their academic pursuits leading into their careers.

In fact, KudosWall conducted a survey and found that social group memberships are among the most valued aspects of a college application. What’s more, 61 percent of admissions professionals say applicants with large networks prove they’re a strong cultural fit.

Younger generations are using technology to build their networks and creatively establish social capital early in their lives. They’re also leveraging social media to bolster their confidence and strengthen relationships. These skills and experiences will give them an advantage as they merge into the professional world.

Merging digital presence and authenticity

There are many facets to building an online presence, including social media accounts, websites, and blogs. Fortunately, given the ubiquity of smartphone ownership and social media usage among the touchscreen generation, they are particularly tech savvy. When they merge that with creativity, they can establish an authentic, positive online presence.

Having a strong online presence that is revealing of who you genuinely are has become increasingly important. Our survey found that creativity, thoroughness, and reflection are the top personality traits college admissions professionals look for in an online presence.

However, the value of an online presence extends beyond academics. It also helps you network and showcase your skills, interests, and abilities to potential employers.

By presenting an authentic representation of themselves in creative ways, this generation is set up for success. For example, they can share videos, art projects, and even create online courses to teach their skills to others. In fact, many of them are learning new technology skills to build a career.

Fueling the tech boom

Coding and other technology skills are becoming second nature to this generation set to enter the workforce in the next decade. It’s not surprising that most of them are considering joining the technology industry. In fact, seven in 10 teenagers surveyed for the CompTIA report, Youth Opinions of Careers in Information Technology, say they are open to the possibility of a career in the technology arena.

The future workforce is currently exploring their creativity through technology. For example, there are several coding games aimed at teens and younger children. For instance, CodeMonkey teaches kids how to use CoffeeScript, a programming language, to build their own games in HTML5.

These games merge recreation and education. The technology industry continues to grow, and with the influx of educated, creative young talent, the landscape will see even more growth.