Generational differences

imgres-1When Elvis came around and kids went gaga their parents freaked.  When the Beatles came to town and kids went bananas their parents freaked.  The generational differences between the youth and the older adults seems so vast and almost comical looking back at it.  It appears that this generation of parents and adults are much more connected to the youth.  There is a blurred line of parenting vs a friendship which is a whole other blog post.  Yet as technology has encroached on our life through social media the lines appear to be more divided than you think.

Perhaps some people move forward and others don’t.  I do not know if it is about curiosity or it is just innate.  My Grandmother was still reading Vogue at 85 and paying attention to the latest fashions and buying them.  I have always been interested in the latest and greatest from fashion to food to home design to music to technology to trends.  Personally I think it keeps you young.

Yet there are many people I know who are still listening to the same music they listened to in college, that are wearing the same clothes, have pretty much the same haircut, etc.  There are others who are all over the latest stuff and because of that they can connect with the youth.  They are using social media, they understand the impact it has on their businesses and the world around them, they are paying attention to the culture and the shifts.

It is almost the start-up vs corporate America.  The big corporations, at least some of them, seem to have a disconnect but at some level realize that they do and are not sure how to move forward.  Someone told me a story about going to do a freelance job for a huge corporation around marketing and branding as they move forward into 2015.  They actually asked if they could help them get into the hip stuff.  It made me laugh because I know exactly what they mean.  They understand that there is a movement but they aren’t quite sure how to get on that band wagon.

It is almost a digital divide that is purely generational from the users and the non-users.  My guess is that back in the day some parents thought Elvis and the Beatles were awesome.  At least I hope so.

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Totally agreed re: big co thinking. I was lucky to have done big-small-big-small in my career and seen it from both sides. You can’t inject coolness or hipness from the outside. It has to grow organically for it to stick. It’s not an attachment or a department.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Company culture

      1. William Mougayar

        yup….hard to change in big co’s.

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    This is a fascinating observation. I guess I’m one of the cool parents. I find that I have a harder time relating to some of my peers than I do to younger people. I find that there are also many small companies and organizations led by older people that don’t “get” tech. And for many years they thought they didn’t have to but now they are realizing they need to if they want their business to continue to be viable.There is a business organization in my region, similar to a chamber of commerce, that believed they didn’t need a website for the longest time. Up until last year they still sent out the meeting lists by snail mail. They continually asked me to join the organization and I continually said no. The problem was that their leader believed they didn’t need tech. Because of that, the whole organization was infused with this idea that tech didn’t matter.Now there is a whole group of younger businesses and business people who are operating outside of this organization which used to pride itself on being the sole uniting organization in the region. They are confused and can’t figure out why nobody wants to join them. What’s even more ironic is that when you walk into one of their meetings, all the people there are my peers but the ones who are still wearing 80’s clothes and listening to 80’s music. I can’t tell you how comedic this is. Yet, these people have no idea how outdated they are.

    1. Gotham Gal

      This is exactly what I see. You are seeing it too

      1. AMT Editorial Staff

        Clearly having kids means exposure to all things current…well a lot of it. So what do you recommend for those without kids in terms of “keeping up” with what is trending? Twitter, FB, People Magazine…Reading the paper….

        1. Gotham Gal

          Read, download and connect.Trust me many of the people I am talking about have kids. It has zero to do with having kids

          1. AMT Editorial Staff

            Read what? Download what? Connect with anyone? I agree on all counts; but it’s very general…almost utopian. There’s an identification of a problem, and a touch upon a solution. Maybe it’s as simple as raising conciousness? Not any “particular” channel, but being open to all channels. Waking up so to speak.

          2. Gotham Gal

            start on Facebook. get on gmail. play around in the play store for apps.

  3. pointsnfigures

    Yup. Seen it in discussion with my friends. One day I started talking about driverless cars, co-working, bitcoin and some other things. Three reactions: Said “No Way”; Muttered “your nuts”; Or stopped interacting. Two lessons from that were, I need to serve it up differently and there are people of every age that won’t ever cross the digital divide. BTW, happens with liberals and conservatives

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Even when you do serve it up in the least threatening way possible, there are still people who will resist. Sadly.

      1. AMT Editorial Staff

        But the things you mention are in newspapers! If people choose to not even read a paper…or be at all up to speed on anything current; scary. I do get the point that being up on current events is very different than being up on pop culture. And younger types are up on that too– maybe too much so.

        1. Gotham Gal

          reading and participating are two very different things.

          1. AMT Editorial Staff

            Participation may require a ticket. Reading is accessible to all.

  4. JimHirshfield

    I’m guessing you weren’t freaked (a la your parents’ reaction to Elvis/Beatles) when you saw/heard about Miley Cyrus’ twerking…perhaps because your kids have all left the nest. I freaked a little bit that my 12 yr old had to experience that media circus.On the issue of hipness…can’t teach that, can you? I just got heckled by my younger colleagues for using the word “youngsters” (in half-jest) to describe 20-somethings. They were like, “yeah, using that word means you’re old” 😉

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      I don’t see Miley Cyrus as much different than Madonna was for my generation. As a parent, I just utilize those moments as conversation starters. (BTW, My son is seventeen and thinks Miley Cyrus is an idiot.)

      1. JimHirshfield

        Your son is cool in my book. ;-)Agreed on the conversation starters. I had to enlighten my daughter to what this song really meant.

  5. Susan Rubinsky

    At 113, Woman Lies About Her Age So She Can Join Facebook”That’s an aspect of my mom,” Harlan says. “She’s been curious about everything all her life and continues to be curious about it.”Just saw this and was reminded of this thread.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I love it!

  6. LE

    Yet there are many people I know who are still listening to the same music they listened to in college, that are wearing the same clothes, have pretty much the same haircut, etc.Music: YesClothes: YesHair: No (I have a stylist and she is up on the latest things and she teaches..)Car: Yes – the one I wanted when I was in high school, a Porsche.Look people dress as they feel comfortable. With me I don’t care about dress it’s not something important to me. Likewise I enjoy the same music essentially (hey I did pick up on the Dixie Chicks in the 90’s) but in general I’m not looking to solve a problem that I don’t have to solve.Computers and efficiency though I’m on it every day. Anyway to eake out more productivity I’m on top of. Constantly. Also people and human nature. Anything and everything. Constantly learning.Story: When I met my wife (2nd wife) I was immediately impressed with the way she showed up on the first date. She didn’t get all “fahpitz” she just looked like you would look to go to the mall. I immediately liked that. I had done the same. And it’s been that way ever since.Personally I think it keeps you young.I think you are leaving out the most important thing that keeps both you and Fred young.You get to hang around and invest in young people. That’s a big deal. And something that all the money in the world can’t buy. [1]In my first business I was young. But everybody that worked for me was either older or of a different “group” if you want to call it that. That alone made me want to get out of the business.[1] I noticed when I was in my 20’s there was a fair amount of older types that wanted to hang out with me taking me out and paying for dinner etc.

    1. Gotham Gal

      hanging out with the young entrepreneurs is definitely a bonus