It's not really a new dividing line -- in the 1970s, Robert Pirsig wrote a great book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (P.S.), that does a nice job of characterizing this same kind of division. With life in the world of computers this issue often comes up, but there are times when it still surprises me.
However, not new doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of the impact and the impression that it can make in your communications. I came across this Techcrunch post last week, Survey Says Baby Boomers Think Playing With Your Blackberry During A Meeting Is Rude, by Erick Schonfeld. It references a detailed study on the impact of using laptops and PDAs during meetings, with the survey segmented into different age brackets. The short end is captured in the title, but it's worth a detailed review.
Whatever your age or your tech-savy demographic, I think you'll find the Techcrunch post amusing. Here's a snippet.
One thing Baby Boomers apparently really hate is when the rest of us are not paying attention during meetings and instead checking our e-mail or Twitter accounts on our mobile phones and laptops. A full 69 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed agree that “PDAs and mobile phones contribute to the decline of proper workplace etiquette,” while only 47 percent of Gen Y workers see what is the big deal. (By the way, who says “PDA” anymore? I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that it must have been a Baby Boomer who put together the survey).Other comments in the post are also amusing. I've also embedded the source survey below for reference.
Tech Gap Survey - Get more Information Technology