Millennial & Boomer: How We Use Social Networks

Generations use social networks differently and similarly. Check out how we use these outlets in our personal lives.
Generations use social networks differently and similarly. Check out how we use these outlets in our personal lives.

Kyle: I love discussing generations. I really enjoy the aspects of how generational discrepancies have seemingly created avenues of similarities between myself (Millennial) and Gail’s generation (Baby Boomer) Gail: I agree. It’s particularly interesting to understand the how’s and why’s of generational differences. How world events affect day-to-day attitudes and behaviors and, importantly, how one generation of parents influences their children’s generation.

K: Exactly, and one of the bonding agents we routinely ignore or say, “Our generations just use these things differently,” is social media.

G: It’s still the difference between digital immigrants and digital natives. Those who have chosen to adopt social media and those who don’t know a world without it.

K: So, today we are going to examine how we, an immigrant and native, use various social networks.

G: Here we go.

Social Network No. 1 - Facebook

K: I use it to "creep" on people I went to high school and college with, while constantly avoiding posts from any "interesting" relatives. I also try not to comment or like pretty much everything in my timeline. In the real world, I complain about why I even have Facebook, yet look at it quite a bit on my phone.

G: I think I’ve actually posted twice. I’m more of an infrequent observer. My husband is totally addicted. At a party last weekend, I met someone I never knew existed. She started reciting my last year in travel to me because she is a friend of a friend of my husband’s and saw it all on Facebook.

Social Network No. 2 - Twitter

K: My news aggregator and my favorite channel out of all social networks. I have constant streams on my desktop, professional and personal, to get all the headlines and information I need for the day.

G: I started to follow some interesting thought leaders a couple of years ago but it was consuming so much time that I just stepped away.

Social Network No. 3 - LinkedIn

K: I use it to post blog content and check on company pages/ads. I also update it when I get a new job. It is my living resume.

G: LinkedIn is my preferred social medium. Makes a lot of sense in the professional world. Yes, it’s a living resume but also a great way to stay connected with business contacts. I am much more likely to pay attention to interest group here than anywhere else and post questions and comments.

Social Network No. 4 - Pinterest

K: I have a Pinterest account, I know how it works and advocate it for lots of people to use, personally and for business. However, I don’t use Pinterest. But my fiancée has shown me plenty of great centerpieces recently for our wedding.

G: My very creative sisters are in the party planning business. They live on Pinterest. I can’t see any application that would be meaningful to me.

Social Network No. 5 - Instagram

K: Personally, I post pictures of friends and family, my cat or me doing some kind of “fun” thing (usually having a beer).

G: It’s a more fun and less stalky version of Facebook. I do enjoy seeing pictures – quick takes on what people are doing.

Social Network No. 6 - Snapchat

K: Saying, “I don’t use Snapchat” makes it sound like I use the social channel for lewd purposes. So, instead I will say, I occasionally use it to send basically the same pictures I use for Instagram to my friends.

G: Give me a break.

Social Network No. 7 - Yik Yak

K: I comment on DePaul kids posts, usually to correct their grammar.

G: What?

Social Network No. 8 - Vine

K: I watch the funny videos. I can’t make a video that is 5-seconds long and funny. It usually is just 5-seconds long and awkward.

G: I just can’t get into the random use of time in hopes of finding something of interest, let alone value.

Social Network No. 9 - Google+

K: Ha!

G: Ha, again! Recently went to a workshop where the speaker was trying to convince everyone that it is the single most important social medium. I didn’t hear an argument I could buy into.

Wrap Up

K: Now there are plenty more social networks for us to review, and we may just need to do that, but until then this is how we use these outlets personally.

G: Like everything else – it’s a matter of objectives. What do you want to get out of your social media involvement and what are you willing to invest (time and money) in making it work for you.