Generation Y’s reputation has been taking a beating as of late. We 20-somethings are constantly told that we’re too needy and demanding; always seeking affirmation; that we’re sloppy dressers and too risqué; and, most of all, that we are far too dependent on technology. But when have generations not been criticized by their elders? Elvis Presley was deemed inappropriate with his new music and sexual dancing.
I argue that Generation Y is more independent than any other generation to date . Although a near-constant connection to technology permeates our lives, that’s not all bad. We have answers at our fingertips. No longer do we have to trek a mile uphill in the snow to the library to find materials for a research project on the Civil War. The following five apps are perfect examples of how technology provides for more independence, productivity and knowledge.
With this calendar/to-do list/reminder app, you’ll always on top of your tasks. The handy cloud-syncing feature provides reminders 24/7 on any Apple device. So clean off that wall of Post-It notes and make that space more visually appealing. This is organization at its finest. On the down side, this does mean there’s no excuse for ever missing anything.
The best way to wake up is with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh copy of the Times. The worst way to wake up is when the paper boy is MIA. With Flipboard, that will be a way of the past. You can read all of the digital newspapers and magazine to which you’ve subscribed entirely through the app. Whenever and wherever you want. You’ll always be well-read and in the know. Just don’t run out of K cups.
Remember as a kid watching your dad pull out his wallet? That bulk of cowhide stuffed with plastic and paper was most impressive. But he’d be in a world of hurt if he lost it. With Lemon, you keep digital copies of your credit cards and rewards cards (think Starbucks and CVS cards), allowing you to keep your wallet safe at home. You can also keep copies of receipts through the app, making returns easier. And for those of you who are super-security sensitive, don’t worry: Lemon is password-protected. Just don’t lose your password!
Nothing oozes independence like being financially independent and responsible. Mint is a place to keep all of your financial information so you can keep track of your spending and balances. You can set budgets for yourself and, through a series of graphs, you can see exactly where your money is going. Mint will illustrate how much money you pay out each month on entertainment, restaurants, clothing and more to help you better manage your spending habits. But let’s be honest, you may still have to ask Mom and Dad for a loan once in a while.
We all know Skype eases the pain of international calling and it’s a great way to video chat with friends. But Skype is also an important tool in the workplace. Using the group-chat feature, co-workers can keep in touch throughout the day– a resource especially useful for companies in multiple cities or countries. And, if you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, you can stay connected via phone, computer and iPad all day. This app definitely boosts productivity and connections among employees. Just remember to change out of your pajamas for those video calls.