Kids are taking over

21 October 2012 Categories: Gerry's Corner

        Recently I attended a local Conference where a speaker addressed the subject of Social Media and Social Networks. In the past I have been known to bash Technology but I guess I was living in a cave not wanting to truly understand what was happening. I blamed Technology for the speed of change and in my opinion we were sacrificing proven efficiencies for the sake of change. This speaker made it very clear that the blame is on the users not the Technology itself. He also made it known that the influencers and controllers of this Technology is not Business or the mature adult market but rather the new immerging force was the 10 to 30 age group. How can such a young group be taking over the world and influencing what they want and need? As this speaker pointed out, this is the first time in history where such a young group has taken over and influencing the futures they want. What makes this phenomenon even scarier is, in the past, age groups in certain nations would dictate trends but today this small age group is far more powerful because there numbers span the whole world. Therefore changes are being influenced instantaneously and globally.

 

The age of immediacy is here now which means what they want today has to be there tomorrow not 5-10 years down the road. They are in a time where they understand each other regardless of Global location. They cannot relate to anything that has happened before their time in other words parents, role models, managers, teachers, etc. have little effect in directing their futures. One observation made, was this age group are now heading up the Family unit and taking over from the parents. Another scary observation is the apparent fact that kids are reaching puberty at an earlier age. Their knowledge base is broader at 16 than previous generations at 20-24. This group is capable of making Business a success overnight or create so much turmoil that the Business could fail thru social media and social networking. The example given was McDonald Restaurants who targets young people as their primary market. A while back McDonald was caught putting an additive in their hamburgers which was a disgusting green or purple color. Social media went wild on this to the point that overnight kids stopped going to McDonalds and business dropped worldwide hence the very quick introduction of healthier menus to regain market share. In the past an incident like this would take a month to reach the whole world and some would never hear about it. Today it is instant therefore more devastating than ever before.

One solution offered for this phenomenon is use this young knowledge base and be part of the changes. I remember my life mentors telling me that life was like a racing train and if you wanted to succeed you had to jump, grab and hang on to this train. Now it seems like this train is being driven by this young age group and we as adults have to jump, grab and hang on to their train.

Will this new eye opener change my views, probably not as fast as I should but with better insight now, I should be able to adapt to change a little easier? Thought I’d share.