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Communications, Rants, Social Comms

Millennials! Generation K is coming! Whatevs, I can’t even.

Stop the madness. Millenials are not aliens. You do not need to go on a course to learn how to relate to Next Gen people at work.

Time exists – things change. People face different challenges in society and in the economy. When was this not so? People are not ‘distracted from relationships by their phones’ – they are developing relationships through space and time using technology that suits them. Stop telling people to get off their phones when at the same time you expect 100% availability coz ‘flexible working in the digital workplace’. We’re on our phones talking to people – communication is work, or we’re checking something; information guides our decisions, isn’t that what you want? Happy to talk about manners, but don’t expect everyone’s behaviour to revolve around you.

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

~ Douglas Adams

People do things differently. Stop trying to control the process and start sharing objectives and goals properly. Stop believing that your way is best, just appreciate that you’re doing great. Share your tips, don’t enforce them.

I see one or two people a week face-to-face, generally. The majority of my time is spent in front of a screen. I don’t just ‘keep in touch’ with my friends via Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, text, and WhatsApp, I literally develop and enjoy my friendships via electronic means. The vast majority of my friends live a hundred miles away or more. This has been my reality since I got my first Ericsson phone and started texting, and got dial-up Internet.

I am supposedly Gen X with Millennial values. I submit that these labels describe my environment, not me.

Adam Conover gets it. Scroll down for the video.

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.