Do Millennials and Baby Boomers speak different languages?!
Any brand that’s interested in connecting with the largest generation in modern history will be keen on cracking the millennial code. That’s why I spent nearly two years working on “The Millennial Disruption” documentary.
The truth is, millennials are disrupting everything they touch just like Baby Boomers did, in the post-war era. But what makes millennials different? Millennials are also known as the Digital Native Generation.
If you were to draw a comparison with how we use the term “native” in describing someone’s mother tongue, being a digital native has a similar effect. So, as millennials, our attitude to digital technologies feels so natural and second nature – a bit like how we speak our mother tongue.
I came up with this analogy, because I learnt English as a foreign language, in my adulthood. I have first-hand experience of what it’s like to speak and write, every day, in a language that I was not brought up with. No matter how good I get at it, it’s never going to be exactly the same as being a native English speaker. Something will give away that it’s not my mother tongue.
When I observe Gen Xers and Baby Boomers’ attitude towards technologies or how they handle things like social media, it is a reminder of what it means to speak English as a foreign language. No matter how much they embrace it, something will give away that it’s not second nature to them, the way that it is to us.
That’s the true meaning of what it means to be a Digital Native, or not!
In The Millennial Disruption, I talk about 9 factors that impact the millennials social and economic behaviours. So the internet or digital technologies can be seen as the catalyst to what leads to those 9 factors or traits. In my next article, I will delve deeper into those.
But in the meantime, I want to point out something important, as I’m aware some people reading this article might think I’m being ageist. Please don’t hate me, hear me out!
I’m not being ageist. I’m just observing the society and saying it how it is.
To prove my point, I want to emphasise that just like, as millennials, we are digital native, the next generation (Gen Z) are going to grow up as AI Natives, or even AI and Blockchain Native. So millennials are going to have to learn to deal with AI and Blockchain, kind of like a foreign language – like Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are learning “Digital” as a “foreign” or “second” language.
This was reminded to me last night as I heard my boyfriend’s 11-year-old talk about learning Algorithm Computing at school. This wasn’t even a thing when I went to school!
It’s just the reality of how things are. Personally, I’ve decided not to complain and just get on with it!
What do you think?