Constant Reinvention: Is Gen. Y Already Behind?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my generation, Generation Y, sort of has an advantage in the job market, having grown up with the Internet and its constant change and reinvention.

It has made me think of my late great grandfather, Charlie. Though I don’t remember much about him–he passed away when I was 3 or 4–one memory my great grandmother always mentions of him is that he loved technology. Every time a new computer came out, a new telephone, or anything, he had to grab it and play with it. He wanted to know all there is to know about new technology.
Though it was a seemingly ancient time of car phones and electric typewriters, he was never behind with the technological trends.

And now that I think about him, I wonder…is my generation already behind? Or are we almost behind? Sure, we have Facebook and MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. We can keep track of our lives through our phones, and our video game characters look like real people. But how up-to-date are we?

I attended the 60th Anniversary dinner of St. Louis’s PRSA chapter the other night, and our guest speaker, John Byrne, executive editor of BusinessWeek magazine, discussed the evolution in social media.
He talked about how newspapers are dying out by the dozens, shifting our demand for news to the online realm. Perfect example: The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, which ceased publication in 1986, is returning only online on December 8.
He also discussed how with this new world of social media, businesses can now reach the consumers directly, cutting out the need for the middle man. They can now do all their work internally, without having to reach out to third party groups to do the work for them.

So where does that leave my generation?
We do have the advantage. Having grown up during the evolution of social media, we can easily navigate these sites and relay the desired information out. Awesome selling point for those groups jumping on the bandwagon and opening a Twitter account.

Yet with the constant reinvention of our technology (Droid phone, anyone?), we must stay up-to-date. We must never stick to what is comfortable, because before we know it, the rug is going to be yanked right out from underneath us. We must read the other blogs, know how people are communicating today, and ride that new current before it becomes yesterday’s news.

Otherwise, our knowledge of social media will be just as relevant as knowledge of using an electric typewriter.


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