There is a cultural war on the horizon. It’s not one based on race or religion or politics or sexual orientation. No, it’s a war based on age. As Baby Boomers grow older and retire, as Gen X takes their place at the top of the food chain and Millennials flood workplaces, a clash of styles and values is poised to cause clashes.
Let’s stop it. Let’s stop it right now.
Articles like this, from a fellow Millennial who believes only people under 25 should manage social media accounts, are not useful. Rebuttal arguments from other generations claiming only people over 40 should set social media strategy are just as bad.
Who should be doing social media? Smart people. Dedicated people. People who care about building relationships responsibly. People who have firm understandings of marketing and business and communications. Some of those people are fresh out of college; some are thinking about retiring. Their age isn’t what matters–their passion and knowledge is.
Does social media require experience? Of course it does. Any job does. But the fact of the matter is, innovators come at all age levels. No one’s ideas should be discounted purely based on the year of their birth.
Instead of focusing on what divides us, instead of focusing on generational stereotypes, how about we talk to each other? How about we focus on sharing unique points of view from digital natives and non-natives alike, and recognizing that our differences complement each other and make us great? How about we focus on mentoring the next generation or being enlightened by youthful enthusiasm?
We all have to work together, Boomers and Xers and Millennials. And we all have something to share. We all have something to learn and something to teach. So instead of judging, instead of calling one generation out of touch and one generation arrogant and naive, let’s help each other. Let’s stop competing and start sharing. Hire people to manage your social media because of what they know, what they care about, how you believe they can help you. Ignore the rest.
See how Lorraine and I let our age differences make us better at social media from our presentation “Social Media at 25 and 50.” And hey, reach out to someone of a different age today. Grab coffee. Offer advice. Ask a question and listen to the answer. Let’s stop these age wars before they destroy us.