Gen Z are apparently worse at file organization than boomers - don't get too angry now

File manager
(Image credit: Pixabay)

In potentially divisive generational-war news, “zoomers” are reportedly much less likely than “boomers” to use folders when managing files, and are also just as likely to use the search bar to find files.

Cloud storage firm Nordlocker stirred the pot by asking 1,000 adults in the US about their file organization habits, and claims to have found that “the generation that grew up alongside Google is used to a digital environment that is searchable, whereas the older generation is used to a more traditional way of handling files.”

Even though they’re a fact of life, the study blames the ease of search algorithms and their wide adoption across the internet for the change in habits, which Nordlocker, directly or indirectly, is pitching to older generations as a sign of civilization’s imminent collapse.

File storage habits and struggling to care at all

Ah, but you see, things were better back in the old days, weren’t they? You came home from school after getting your forty lashings, didn’t you, you put Crackerjack on, sat around the telly ‘cos mum’s done you file cabinets for tea, and you made sure the plate was clean or you’d get a clip round’ ear hole. Not like now.

Pitting this as a generational divide is the most blatant attempt at making news on a slow Tuesday I have ever seen in my life, it’s nauseating. Oh, 22.5% of Gen Z respondents delete their files on a weekly basis, do they, compared to only 5.6% of "boomers"? Scandal!

“Boomers” think all analysis and research is part of a technocratic coup d’etat perpetrated by Jean-Claude Juncker. They’re not going to click you, mate. And a sample of 1,000 is nothing, so the whole thing doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny.

I, a filthy “zoomer”, use folders. I’ve met people my age who do the desktop thing of treating it like a tip, but I’ve also met yon wise middle-aged people who do that, and who manage passwords in unencrypted Excel spreadsheets and can’t clear their browser history. Don't ask a “boomer” what search engine optimization is, you'd get the same response from a dog.

John Suler, a Professor of Psychology at Rider University roped into this enterprise, thinks that “by organizing files yourself, you benefit from the mental exercise of thinking about your stuff, how things group together, what similarities and differences matter to you. It's a good way to exercise your abstract thinking abilities.”

Forgive me for not having a degree from The University of Life, but I just see file management as “where my stuff is”. But whatever, self-actualisation is good for the young, idiotic soul, or something? This is what happens when you don’t make an internet ban for over-30s international law.

Tech-illiterate people will always exist, but fine, another PR-led survey shovels coal for the discourse, and that's just what happens now.

Luke Hughes
Staff Writer

 Luke Hughes holds the role of Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro, producing news, features and deals content across topics ranging from computing to cloud services, cybersecurity, data privacy and business software.