From Dial-Up to DMs: Hurdles Gen X Faces on Social Media

Ask Me Anything

How to learn to love social media. I got a fantastic question from my friend and Marketing Magician Kimberly and felt it was worth a post. And a great way to start off my Ask Me Anything adventure. So, thanks Kimberly.

How can I learn to love Social Media

I totally relate to this one and my simple answer is not to love it, but to learn to like it.

Less pressure, more fun, and less guilt.

And my instinct for people with privacy concerns is always to create a backup email account instead of our primary one. So, that will solve part, but not all of the privacy concerns.

Be like Kimberly and Ask Me Anything

Suggestions on playing with social media rather than letting it play you

How to learn to love social media or at least like it. Embracing social media can be a bit of a tightrope walk, especially when you’re someone who values privacy. Here are a few fun and hopefully insightful responses to your question:

4 Ways to Start to Like Social Media

  • The Social Media Diet:
    • Treat social media like a kale smoothie for your marketing career – it might not be your taste, but it’s packed with benefits. Over time, you might even develop a liking for it, or at least, find a way to make it palatable!
  • The Alter Ego Approach:
    • Create a professional alter ego who loves social media. When you log in, put on your ‘Marketing Maverick’ hat and leave ‘Private Kimberly’ at the door. It’s like being a superhero, but with hashtags instead of capes.
  • The Treasure Hunt Technique:
    • Think of social media as a treasure hunt. Every interaction is a clue leading you to the treasure chest of customer engagement and brand recognition. And who knows, you might stumble upon some memes that tickle your funny bone along the way!
  • The Social Media Detox:
    • Schedule regular ‘social media detox’ periods where you step back and enjoy some good old-fashioned offline privacy. It will make your online time more productive and less personal.

4 More strategies that can work

  • The Nostalgia Nudge:
    • Remember the days of dial-up internet and rejoice in the fact that at least social media loads faster than a 90s webpage. Plus, no screeching modem sounds!
  • The Professional Peeking Perspective:
    • Treat social media like a window into the market’s soul (without getting too creepy). It’s a chance to peek into consumer behavior, trends, and feedback in real-time, all from the comfort of your desk, or a coffee shop, or really anywhere other than a stuffy boardroom.
  • The Emoji Embrace:
    • Embrace the emoji, the GIFs, and the memes. They are the hieroglyphics of the digital age. Who knows, a few years down the line, they might be part of the marketing curriculum!
  • The Social Media Sandbox:
    • Think of social media as a sandbox. Yes, there might be some cat poop (negative comments) hidden in there, but with the right tools (engagement strategies), you can build some pretty impressive sandcastles (campaigns).

Common Gen X Social Media Concerns

Generation X has a unique set of concerns regarding social media due to their transitional position in the digital evolution.

Here are five common concerns:

  • Digital Literacy:
    • Gen Xers might feel caught between digital natives (Millennials and Gen Z) and digital immigrants (Baby Boomers). They may find it challenging to keep up with the rapid evolution of social media platforms and technologies.
  • Personal vs Professional Boundaries:
    • Striking a balance between personal and professional online personas can be tricky. Gen Xers often value a clear delineation between work and personal life, which can be blurred on social media.
  • Authenticity:
    • There’s often a concern about the authenticity and sincerity of interactions on social media. The curated nature of online personas can feel inauthentic to Gen Xers who appreciate more traditional, face-to-face interactions.
  • Time Consumption:
    • Social media can be a significant time sink. Gen Xers, often juggling multiple life responsibilities, may find the time demand of maintaining active social media profiles overwhelming.
  • Over-sharing:
    • The culture of over-sharing personal information and daily life updates can be off-putting. Gen Xers might find this level of disclosure uncomfortable or unnecessary.

Here are five additional concerns:

  • Cyberbullying and Trolling:
    • The anonymity and distance created by social media can sometimes foster negative interactions, which can be a concern for Gen Xers who value respectful communication.
  • Data Security:
    • Beyond just privacy, the security of personal data and information is a significant concern, especially with the rise in data breaches and cyber-attacks.
  • Impact on Mental Health:
    • The potential negative impact on mental health, including issues like anxiety, depression, or FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), can be concerning.
  • Misinformation and Fake News:
    • The spread of misinformation and the challenge of discerning credible sources from non-credible ones is a serious concern, especially on platforms where anyone can share information.
  • Algorithmic Bias:
    • The way algorithms dictate what content is seen and not seen can be frustrating, especially for those who remember a time before such technological mediation.

Understanding these concerns can help in navigating social media platforms in a way that feels more comfortable and authentic to Gen Xers.

How to learn to love social media may just be about liking it because it might be a better match to our core personality makeup.