Social media is new. Social media (unless you count MySpace) is less than a decade old. OK, so what? The iPhone is only 7 years old. The iPad is barely 4 years old. Again, so what? What that means is that, not only is there a generation that has never known a world without social media, but every other generation grew up and went to school and got jobs without social media. As a Gen-X guy, I learned to type. On a typewriter. Then I learned the PC, then the Mac, then email, then the internet, then social media just since 2008.
My kids will never know a world without any of these things. Millennials have only known the world with these things. That sets this generation up for complete and total ownership of what we now know as social media. Here’s why.
- It’s their native language. We had to step into it, just like we had to learn typing, and DOS, and Windows, and http, and email.
- They didn’t have to “learn” it, any more than a baby has to learn to eat, cry, or poop. Social media is what this generation was, and is, expected to do.
- It came installed on their first phone. What choice did they have? Get an iPhone, and BAM! you have social media.
- We forced it on them by getting them iPhones. I didn’t have my own phone when I was 13. I used the phone. The only thing that came with that phone was a long, curly wire. Quick, name a 13 year old without a smartphone.
- It’s now a job. A good job. We couldn’t say that even 3 years ago.
When you combine all these things into the millennials’ generation, you have a fantastic recipe for success. But there will be two things that will change, and this I can almost guarantee you.
- In a very short while, we’ll no longer call it “social media”, because what other kind of media will exist?
- When millennials become parents, it’ll start even earlier. There will be a baby phone, and not a play phone made by Mattel. A real phone. It’ll replace the baby monitor.
And that is why millennials own social media. I don’t mean they have complete control over it or have every SM job. I mean it’s theirs to build, create, and grow. They own it. Will they take responsibility for it?