Friday, May 27, 2016

Spot Us

I get that Millennials have surpassed baby boomer as the largest generational demographic but that doesn’t mean we’re going extinct. I saw a list the other day entitled Five Ways to Spot a Baby Boomer. It made me think that perhaps we’ve evolved into some kind of exotic pileated woodpecker.

The 5 ways you ask? #1 - We hand out business cards. That’s right, we’re so digitally disadvantaged that we still rely on dead tree editions. Is that so wrong? Sure, we could text the contact info or email it, but why not promote more human contact….shake my hand, take my card.

#2 - Boomers can read maps. OK, this is one where boomers best millennials who are so GPS-reliant that they will never find the buried treasure without that insane voice constantly telling them that it’s recalculating. And we know which direction is North by the moss on the trees, so there!

#3 - A Boomer carries a pen, maybe several. Dictation is wonderful (except when it insists you want a different word when you really don’t want that word), but sometimes you just want to write it down. Plus, it’s a scientific fact that writing out information is one of the best ways to commit it to memory. And if you’re having trouble remembering your own name…

#4 - Boomers think millennials are slackers. I’m not feeling this one at all. Because millennials want a good balance between work and leisure, that makes them slackers? I think they have the right idea. Boomers spent way too much time climbing the ladder only to arrive at the top feeling disappointed and maybe cheated out of time that could have been better used.

# 5 - Boomers think millennials are tech-savvy. Actually, I’m fairly certain they don’t know much more about the latest technology than I do. They just plan to be much earlier adopters than boomers. They are willing to run right off the cliff, crash, burn and respawn. Not having grown up with video games, boomers have little faith in respawning. We’re not installing that operating system upgrade until lots of millennials have vetted it for us. Clever, eh?

So boomers are not exactly exotic or going extinct, but we are a little more cautious about totally giving up on some old school tools that still work. I can live with that. In fact, I have been living just like that.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept and at BoomSpeak. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.