Apr 14 2009
Dear bloggers who write about Generation Y constantly:
Please stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves.
How many times can you guys dissect a market? How many blanket statements can you make about an age group? For chrissakes, we know Gen Y is different. We like technology and we’re comfortable with it. We grew up with Google. We aren’t as accepting of traditional roles in the office. Blah blah blah. So what? Do you really need to harp on this stuff every day? Are you still going to be talking like that when you’re married with kids?
Watch this, I’m going to sum up your entire platform: “Gen Y is special because we have blogs and other online tools to help us market ourselves. We’re better than everyone else, and smarter than all those stupid people who are over 30. Now let’s spend the next five years in an insular group with zero real-life experience while surrounding ourselves with adults who buy into our B.S. We’ll use them to give us superficial credibility! Oh, and let’s make sure to spend 14-hour days “working” on our laptops, not getting any measurable results, and making sure our skin stays pale.”
Gen Y bloggers spout an endless stream of self-affirming drivel, and it’s insultingly dismissive of older generations. A very close friend of mine is over 60-years-old (he’s part of the Silent Generation, but I’m sure you already knew that). He understands computers and social media better than most people my age. “Oh no, he must be a Gen Y in an old person’s body!” Different age groups don’t live in vacuums. An individual is an individual, and people are people. Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers… WHO CARES? They’re nothing but stereotypes!
If you’re a Gen Y blogger, the best-case scenario is that you got caught up in something that appeared to be edgy. You thought, “Hey, this is cool! People my age are getting into this whole online marketing scene. We know what we’re doing, and we can teach others!” But almost all of you have no experience in anything worth talking about (corporate internships, sadly, do not count). The only thing you have to your name is that you can use Facebook and Twitter without having an aneurysm.
And the worst-case scenario is that you are a self-absorbed charlatan who is capitalizing on the confusion of people who are older than us. LinkedIn, Youtube, blogs – they’re just new tools. Knowing how to use social media does not make you smart.
You want to know what Gen Y is? I’ll tell you – we are the current trendsetters. That’s it. And that’s how it has always been with every 20-something generation, until the next one replaces it. We are not special. We are not unique. It’s time to stop stroking each other’s egos and focus on the bigger picture. Trust me, your “expertise” will be irrelevant in a few years.