I was born in the late 70’s and came of age in the 90’s. My childhood is analog and my adulthood is digital. There is a steep learning curve when you aren’t native to the digital world. We need you, Millennial friend. Your optimism, communal spirit, messages of empowerment and electronic knowledge enlighten our Xennial souls. Please teach us, you are our only hope.
Here are some of the things my Millennial friends have taught me in no particular order.
This symbol # is called a hashtag.
Use it to connect with others on social media. This is not a pound sign or a numerical number. Its real name is the Octothorp, but no one cares that I know this.
Never double space after sentences.
Double spacing after a sentence is only something used on typewriters when the typeset made it difficult to read. It is unnecessary on computers and shows that you learned to type on a typewriter (I really did!). My Millennial friend has shown me how to automatically remove the spaces in Word so I don’t look old.
Don’t use full sentences when texting.
It takes too long and no one is grading your messages. Use emojis and abbreviations to express meaning if necessary. A response should be quick and clear. My responses take me 10 minutes because I use one finger and insist on proper English. Don’t be like me! Use both of your thumbs.
Stream your music.
I have a collection of CDs and an old Napster file on my computer that you will have to pry from my cold dead hands, but those are relics. Music is now almost exclusively streamed.
Don’t call, just text.
Send a quick text and arrange a time to meet in person if you want to talk. The hours I spent talking and fiddling with a phone cord are long gone. You can finally get rid of that landline.
Independent Coffee Shops and Micro Breweries are the new hangouts.
These are hip millennial family meeting spaces. It really is fun to spend time there. The mall is no longer where the cool kids are.
Give up the collections.
Stuff isn’t where you’ll find happiness. Give up anything that is holding you back and go for experiences instead. A trip is much better than new Pandora charms.
Use phone apps for keeping track of things.
If you still use a day planner or take notes with a pen, that isn’t efficient. You only need your smartphone. It’s a computer that you carry. You might misplace a piece of paper; I doubt you will misplace your phone as easily.
Stop going to Costco and start ordering from Amazon.
Online shopping is amazing and can be just as cost efficient as the big warehouse stores. Unfortunately, there aren’t any samples. Maybe Amazon can fix that in the future with drones.
Share your thoughts efficiently.
My Millennial friends know how to get their ideas across in 140 characters or less. Twitter can teach you how to say exactly what you want, clearly and quickly.
Get rid of your Hotmail or AOL account and get a free Google email.
If you still have a Hotmail or AOL account, just know that you are OLD. Use anything other than Hotmail or AOL. I’m attached to my Hotmail account. I got it when I was in undergrad and I’ve never given it up. It’s a keepsake now.
Get answers to questions from Google.
Do not ask a question on social media that Google can answer. Google can tell you exactly what you need to know without the eye-rolls. It’s always “worth a Google.”
Take pictures of yourself. Don’t be ashamed and don’t leave yourself out. You are important. Unabashedly take those selfies and get in the picture with your kids!
I love my Millennial Mom friends. They help me stay up to date on terms and laugh at me when I resist change. I can be stuck in my ways, but they have changed me for the better and helped me embrace all the things that are most unfamiliar. I’m still part of the resistance, but without my Millennial friends, I would definitely be lost.
What have you learned from your Millennial friends? I would love to know. I’ll be waiting for your buzz on my pager.