Today 2 VERY interesting articles reared their subject lines in my inbox. First came Inc.com’s article written by Hollis Thomases which upon reading, blew smoke out my ears. It’s entitled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media”. I’m not a 23 year old anymore, but this really P*&SS%^ me off. In my opinion, this kind of generalization from an individual of an older generation sets the Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant argument farther back than it should ever need to go.
Check out Hollis’ reasons for not embracing the digital natives:
1. They’re not mature enough
2. They may be focused on their own social-media activity
3. They may not have the same etiquette–or experience
4. You can’t control their friends
5. No class can replace on-the-job training
6. They may not understand your business
7. Communication skills are critical
8. Humor is tricky business
9. Social-media savvy is not the same as technical savvy
10. Social-media management can become crisis management
11. You need to keep the keys
I’m obviously biased. But I think it’s safe to say that most (if not all) of these reasons can be avoided by following proper hiring procedures. Quite frankly, someone at any age can instigate a lot of these risks. As I said before, I’m not 23. However, my 23 year old self would want to send a pretty expressive letter to little Miss Hollis, reminding her that this kind of ageist behaviour is disgusting.
Side note: Anyone remember how old Mark Zuckerberg was when he INVENTED the world’s most popular social network?
It’s irritating to think that some of the older generation business leaders who may not quite grasp social media yet will read Hollis’ article – and make hiring decisions based on her (in my opinion) ‘faux’ content .
Soon after (to my delight), article #2 appeared: “Why millennials should handle your social media” by Lauren Rotherin. Lauren is a 23 year old community manager (imagine!) and she had a few counter points for little Miss Hollis DeVille:
1. Millennials are creative.
2. Social media isn’t new to us.
3. We are trustworthy, despite what Thomases might think.
4. Our age doesn’t necessarily reflect our maturity.
5. Our individualism is good for your business.
The reality is: we can’t make assumptions about a generation, and close doors before we’ve opened them. Take a look at the world today, many of the movers and shakers in the tech and startup world are in their 20s! I feel like I’ve made my opinion known, and even writing this post has further infuriated me with each sentence I’ve typed. So to close I politely say: Hollis, you’re an idiot.
UPDATE – CHECK THIS INFOGRAPHIC OUT, HOLLIS: