Tag Archives: millennials

Social Media is Not A Conversation, It is A Shouting Match

“Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.”
Zygmont Bauman

Digital tools and social media have changed our lives. Not all the change has been for good. In theory we have more opportunities to discuss with various people, but actually we are surrounding ourselves with homogenous group of people who have similar background and similar opinions as we have. Because we can select what we read, majority of people settle for narrow worldview and just plain lies. Unfortunately nowadays it is ok to be ignorant and thanks to social media, you can surround yourself with other ignorant people.

We would have the opportunity to listen to opposite views, but instead we block them. We overreact to tweets, blog posts and snapchats if they do not conform to our worldview. You cannot be sarcastic anymore, because someone will not understand your humor. If you have to explain it is humor, the game is already lost. Especially the problem is obvious with millennials.

“My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move.”
– Brett Easton Ellis (Generation Wuss about millennials)

Essentially social media has just made us bunch of weak crybabies without any sense of humor. Or maybe we have always been them, but now it is just socially acceptable.

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Millennial Dilemma

Although I actually quite like Hotline Bling and the memes involved, I also have recognized that I have become quite old.

Technically I am earliest installation of Millennials. What that means is that, we can use digital devices but had to learn how to use them. It is not something that has always been part of my life. Majority of my friends are from Generation X and my frame of reference has always been more from that side. So to put it to movies context, I am more “Straight Outta Compton” than “We Are Your Friends”.

Age is nothing but a number, but generally I found that there is more to learn from younger people than old geezers. Old age brings experience. Experience brings predictability. Predictability brings cynicism. Which means that every year brings you closer to become a truly whiny and bitter bastard. No need to beat around bush, that is where we all are eventually heading.

The behavior of real millennials (not from older end, like me) is shaping the future. If I think about my own parents they have eventually turned out to all things early adopters first pioneered, whether it is Netflix, smartphones or Finnish hip-hop. You cannot learn about stickers by reading about them, you have to observe people who are actually using them. There are lots of things to learn from younger generation, but how to meet them? I have three methods to try to pick brains of millennials:

  1. Be available mentor

Whether it is a company initiative or someone is approaching you for help, try to be available and meet different people. Bad experiences are valuable experience as well and when you mentor someone you most likely learn even more from you mentee. Millennials might think that you have something valuable to contribute, so be helpful. One coffee can make a big difference.

  1. Try to talk to the students

Today I was talking to marketing students in SMU. They were super active and smart bunch. Questions were sharp and made me also think from different angle. When you are at beginning of your marketing career it feels that you are actually thinking more straight and clearly. All the marketing jargon has not yet totally polluted your brain. Well, there is time for everything.

SMU

Selfie with SMU students taken by our HR Director, Kevin

  1. Go where the young people are

I don’t actually know where young people nowadays are and I would not dare to go there even if I know. And I don´t really want to know. Clubs are too noisy. I just want to hang out at home, listen to vinyl records (from when I was teenager) and enjoy a good glass of wine. So two out of three is ok as well.

If you don´t know what millennial is and you don´t know if you are one, check this Vanity Fair guide. Funnily (or sadly) in the latest Vanity Fair, there was a letter to the editor by (younger) millennial. She referred to VF as a magazine, she envisioned to be reading when she would be over 30. Damn, I have read VF from when I was 20.

I must be the most failed Millennial in the world.

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