Tag Archives: attention grabber

Generation Y vs. The Baby Boomers…what’s the difference?

7 Sep

As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, I’m a recent graduate from Marist College. Why is this relevant? Because I am looking for a job and applying for them regularly. Anyone in the same position understands that applying for jobs is like a job in itself; it’s tedious, takes time, and an attention to detail is critical. I often ask my mom for advice when it comes to cover letters and resumes because she often has an understanding of what people like and want to see.

The other day, I was sending off a cover letter and resume when my mom walked in the room. I put the title of the position in the subject line of the email and added three exclamation points (!!!) to it. Why? Because I feel like it’s an attention grabber. I want my email to stand out over others so I add exclamation points for good measure and to show my excitement about the position. Before my mom could say anything, I quickly said, “I know they may look unprofessional, but they seem to work for me so I’m keeping them.” I was expecting my mom to say it probably wasn’t the best idea and looks childish, but instead she told me she’d just read an article on a related topic.

The article can be found here … http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704421104575463540853116732.html. I would suggest reading it if you have time because it highlights some of the major differences between Generation Y and the Baby Boomers. In the article, the writer, Jeffrey Zaslow, talks about a similar situation he experienced with his daughter. When helping her write a letter, he suggested to his daughter to take out a few exclamation points because they were excessive. His daughter followed his advice. She then received a response email which included an exclamation point at the end of three of the four sentences.

I consider myself to be at an interesting age when viewing these differences between generations. Computers were first introduced when I was a small child; I remember playing Carmen San Diego on our bright blue Apple computer when I was a little kid. I was also around when cell phones started becoming popular. That is, I have lived part of my life without these technologies and part of my life with them. I’ve seen them evolve and have become extremely well-versed in the advances of technology. Unlike my brother and his friends and those younger, getting a cell phone was a privilege and had to be earned. Now, I’m baffled as I walk down the street and see an 8-year-old playing on a cell phone.

However, touching back on the punctuation subject, I believe Generation Y has reasoning behind it. Focusing on my friends and family, literally everyone has their own cell phone. With owning a cell phone comes learning the language (i.e. LOL, LMAO, haha, etc.). When it comes to texting and communicating through technologies, Generation Y tends to over-use certain phrases and acroynms. What many adults don’t realize is that they convey a tone; ‘haha’ is friendly. You aren’t necessarily laughing though. LOL (laughing out loud) is usually added to make sure you don’t come off like a biotch. Your texting language sets the tone of the conversation. If one of my friends were to text me a simple sentence with a period on the end, I would assume they’re mad. Contrary to this, we use exclamation points with one another to show that we are excited or happy.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that there are definite differences between my generation and my parents. Yes, I do ask my parents for advice and listen to it, but it is dependent on the topic. Somewhere in the same article, it talks about YouTube videos. If I wanted to learn how to tie a tie, I most likely wouldn’t ask my dad (even though I’m sure he is a pro.) Instead, I’d Google it or go look a video up on YouTube. My generation has become technology-dependent, but it is our expertise. My parents ask me for advice on cell phones, computers, instant messaging, and anything else that I know more about than they do.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned job searching and how tedious it becomes. I have applied for several positions regarding social media because I consider myself to be an expert in this area. However, something I find interesting and unfair is that many of these positions ask for 2+ years of experience. This is nearly impossible since social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) have only recently become major sources of advertising and marketing. Yes, Facebook has been around for more than five years, but they only began advertising on the site during 07-08. I know this because I co-wrote an extensive research paper on the topic. I would assume that businesses want somebody who has grown with the social media and is younger because Generation Y are the experts, not the Baby Boomers.

I may be rambling, but these are just some points I wanted to make. I felt this article was relevant and important because others should be aware of the differences in generations. Parents and adults can be easily offended by someone younger, but it turns out we may know what we’re talking about when it comes to specific topics such as technology, social media, and communication. I am not telling my peers to no longer listen to your parents (because they really do know best about a lot of things), but try reversing the roles and teaching your parents some things. We are now living in a society that is extremely technology-dependent and it is only going to continue to grow and become more popular. What’s your response to this blog post? And what are your thoughts on the article? Let me know!