Every decade that ushers in a new generation of fresh-faced youth will inevitably create a division among the status quo. What was once seen as cutting edge or revolutionary eventually expires and fades away in the wrinkles of antiquity. It’s no surprise that the current crop of young adults is caught in the crosshairs of columnists and critics who opine for the “good ole days.”
Certainly, there’s something to be said about the growing sentiment of entitlement and apathy that breeds brats and hipsters alike. But, millennials have yet to grow into their own, making the judgments and generalizations leveled against them all the more premature. If children are the future, somewhere, right now, an upcoming politician, CEO or professor has his eyes glued to a smartphone screen while fingers punch in an update to his Facebook account. For better or worse, the generation gap continues to widen. However, the tech savvy teens of yesteryear may help propel enterprise and exchange into a new standard of excellence.
Although it’s easy to dismiss much of their internet activity as counterproductive or attention-grabbing behavior, millennials have lived their entire lives with a wealth of knowledge, power and entertainment at their fingertips. Barely out of its infancy, the internet is still very much an unknown and mysterious entity. It takes time to learn how to use a tool properly, so it’s a bit misguided to lecture anyone on a uniform appropriate purpose. Perhaps the most popular online platform among millenials is Facebook. Facebook has drawn ire and accolades far and wide, and the growing number of accounts per day dispels the notion that it’s just another fad.
Despite a great deal of muck and mire found on the site, Facebook offers users a reliable and easy means to share ideas and information, largely without limitations to geographic location. This free flow of communication can help instill awareness and foster sensibilities to a widespread audience. Connecting with people across continents will prove to be a valuable asset to any company attempting to broaden mass appeal. In macro terms, Facebook is helping users develop relationships in the global marketplace.
Facebook is far from a training ground for micromanaging a business or company. The millennials who frequent the site may, however, understand subtle difficulties in maintaining good rapport and establishing harmonious associations. In a land where friendship is treated like a commodity, Facebook has a built-in incentive for users to show diplomacy and empathy in the name of saving face. Users who boast a large number of friends had to earn trust through geniality in some form or another from their counterparts.
Networking, as a skill, can open doors to numerous opportunities and by osmosis, users of Facebook have already learned how to build a base. Keeping extensive associations can mold into strong and symbiotic relationships that provide a wealth of connections for future endeavors. Millennials have their fingers on the pulse of the Web, which has emerged as the leading source of breaking news and latest trends. This gives them an advantage in keeping employers current and relevant, as well as modernizing the outreach and marketing department of companies.
Simply having an account on Facebook will never strengthen a resume nor can it be an adequate substitute for face-to-face contact. As such, every generation is comprised of unique individuals with their own skill set. Millennials are nearly as old as the World Wide Web, which should be taken into consideration before characterizing their generation as lazy, internet-addicted ingrates. With new standards of age and maturity taken into account, Millennials still have an opportunity to rise to the occasion when their number is called.