This blog is to express some of the differences between my grand-daughter’s generation and mine. I am a Baby Boomer, or according to some experts, an older Boomer. Jalia, a teenager about to enter her senior year of high school, is a member of the Generation Y. She may also be called a member of Generation 9/11, who according to one author, Charlie Bentson King, “… has only seen the world through the prism of the 9/11 tragedy.” At any rate, there is a world of difference between our generations.
One area where there is a major difference between her generation and mine is technology. As a baby boomer, born in 1951, I did not grow up with computers. We barely had television. My uncle was the first to purchase a television in the family and we would all get together on weekends to watch some of the shows. Jalia and her generation grew up using computers, cell phones and other forms of advanced technology. It appears to be second nature to them. Their generation often watch television and movies on their computers and cell phones. These marvels of technology are not second nature to Baby boomers, who are often struggling to keep up with the latest technical innovation. Because these innovations are occurring at a late v. early point in the lives of baby boomers, we are not grasping the concepts as quickly and easily as the Gen Y or Gen 9/11 group.
I think that baby boomers have learned to appreciate cellphones, laptops, the internet and other forms of technology. We grew up with enclyclopedias, books that contained a wealth of information about everything that we needed to know. I remember my mother getting free enclyclopedias with coupons at the grocery store. One week you could get book A, and next week book B, etc. So it took more than six months to get a full set. Obviously, this was a very slow, arduous undertaking to bring more information into the home. In comparison, Gen Y is accustomed to internet use that provides an amazing array of information in seconds on practically any topic of choice. This access to information gives Gen Y an advantage in gaining knowledge and thereby expanding their intelligence.
So in creating a strategy for reaching constituents of each generation, the differences should be taken into account. I would advise using the internet for both generations, as both generations are high users of the internet. However, for reaching Gen Y and teenagers, I would include the stategy of using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or others. This generation would be more likely to get the message through postings on the social media sites. Additionally, if you can get their friends or celebrities or even the average person on the street to start discussions on the subject through social media outlets, the message would reach a vast number of constituents. For baby boomers, I would suggest starting with the internet, but also include television, radio and magazines, as we are still getting a lot of information through those outlets.
In conclusion, Jalia’s generation and mine may share a lot of the same values, but there are major differences in the way we communicate with the world at this time. I am more understanding and even appreciative of those differences, because it all adds up to a better quality of life for her and her generation. Technology and the use of social media are just a couple of those areas where the differences are clear and must be considered whenever communicating across generational lines.