It’s been just a month since Cathryn Sloane published her now infamous post on NextGen Journal, Why Every Social Media Manager Should be Under 25.
Wow, did a post from this young college grad hit a sensitive and insecure nerve in social media professionals! In the past few weeks, her post received more than 600 comments and thousands of tweets, mostly negative, reflecting the growing chasm between the generations in the social media world.
Time to get over it, all of you naysayers from Millennials to Baby Boomers. The world doesn’t revolve around you!
As someone well over 25 who manages both public relations and social media for my company, I am grateful that Cathryn’s post started this hot button discussion.
This is a wake-up call for social media managers everywhere. We should be talking about this issue openly–and honestly examining our attitudes–in every workplace, institution and organization, not just to clear the air with Kumbaya moments but because the synergy of the experiences of all ages can only benefit the work we do.
Although I don’t agree with Cathryn’s post, I respect her opinion and have learned a great deal from this controversy. After reading some of the nastier comments, I found myself not only feeling empathy for this young woman but for all of the younger people who grimaced when they read the mean spirited stereotypes about their generation.
I remember the thrill I experienced as a 23-year-old when a senior manager accepted my ideas and complimented my work. I carry this memory with me when I work with and mentor younger pros. I respect their opinions and often ask for their feedback. As a manager now, I see it as my responsibility to provide leadership and create an environment for all of us to learn together and grow our social media skills to achieve our goals. Because that’s what it’s all about, no matter how old we are and how many years we’ve been working in social media.