"It makes it hard to do the real work and hard because you are just having the meta-conversation about how to talk," Koschei says.
So far, workers don't seem to see this as a career-threatening issue.
In a recent Pew study, only 13 percent of workers said they worried about losing their jobs "because they can't keep up with the technical requirements." Surprisingly, there was no difference among age groups — 18-year-olds and 64-year-olds are equally unconcerned about becoming digital dinosaurs, the survey found. That's despite recent dire predictions about robots eliminating the need for human workers during the next decade.
"People are much more worried about their employer managing their company better, both near-term and long-term, than they are about growing automation," said Aaron Smith, who conducted Pew's research. On the other hand, he conceded, many workers aren't fond of admitting they don't know what they're doing. "Measuring inadequacy is tough."
While Koschei observes the problem every day, he sees light at the end of the smartphone. Instead of asking an embarrassing question about Bumble, for example, workers can just Google what they need to know, and learn to live in a world where "generations" change as fast as software does.