How to Use Technology to Communicate with Gen X and Millennials

Gen x

Communication has moved to sound bites: so be bright, be brief and be gone.

•    Is your son or daughter screening your calls?

•    Are you still leaving long voice messages on your son or daughter’s phone?

•    Do you feel like a virtual mom or dad?

My 25-year-old son screens my calls.  Like the rest of his generation, I’m sure he deletes all the long-winded messages I leave on his cell phone.   It’s not that he doesn’t want to hear from me (or so I hope), it just shows the difference in our communication styles.  I grew up talking on the phone; his generation doesn’t like to talk on the phone. They prefer instant and short text messages.

My son is a Generation Y (aka Millennials or Echo Boomers).  His generation is between 18 to 25 years old and grew up in the digital age with computers and cell phones. We raised them to be the most tolerant of all the generations on social issues such as immigration, homosexuality and race.

How they communicate:

  • Our kids grew up in the digital age.  They use technology to connect with friends in new ways; they text message to communicate and stay in touch with friends. They make friends using technology tools and say it makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Millennials have the reputation for being peer-focused and for seeking instant gratification.  The good news for us is that they frequently in touch with their parents and use technology at higher rates than people from other generations.
  • The rise of instant communication technologies made possible through the Internet, have brought us email, texting, and IM and new media used through websites YouTube and social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.
  • Twitter is the most popular of all social media. Twitter allows users to send messages called “tweets” from a computer or mobile device.  You have 140 characters to say what you want to say and those message are delivered to others who have signed up to receive them such as family, friend and colleagues. Sign up at

How Not To Communicate with the Younger Generation

1. Don’t leave a phone message – most young people do not use or listen to voice messages.   Count how many calls you make to your son or daughter and ask yourself, what are the percentages of actually getting them on the phone versus the messages you leave.  If you need to reach your offspring fast, send them a text message or instead of leaving a message, hang up and see how fast they call you back.

2. Stop using email to communicate with your kids – if you are on Facebook, you’ve begun to notice that you’re receiving more and more messages through Facebook’s message system.  The younger generations are communicating through Facebook, Twitter and text messaging.  How many of your emails are being answered by your kids?

3.  Less is more: learn to communicate with fewer words – get a Twitter account at  Twitter is a social network that is based on the principal of having followers. When you post a message, it’s called a “tweet.” You have 140 characters maximum to say what you want to say. Your tweet goes out to all of those who are following you on Twitter. And learn the lingo: retweeting or hash tagging is not something you smoke.

A report from Forrester Research showed that 60 percent of actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forums.  And the percentage of those participating is on the rise. “Social media adoption is going up for all generations,” said said Jeremiah K. Owyang, author of the report and a senior analyst with Forrester Research. The fact that boomers are increasingly using these tools is a clear indication that it’s not just a fad, he said.   So if you want to be cool, communicate with the younger generations in ways they communicate to their peers.

Fact: your kids and your grandkids don’t use phones for talking these days, so start text messaging. “Text messaging is no longer just a young person’s activity. The fastest growing demo is 45-64,” says Jeff Hasen, CMO at HipCricket.  “


How Not to Act Old on Twitter– More Magazine

How Not To Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Lest Not Totally Lame by Pamela Redmond Satran.

Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, William Strauss and Neil Howe

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, June 5,2009  issue of Time, by
Steven Johnson

Pew Internet & American Life Project —

  1. Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Robert Shumake

  2. Hello! thanks for reading my blog! there was a slight glitch in the RSS feed, but it has been fixed so go ahead and try to add my blog to your rss reader again. thanks -sherold barr

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Good dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  4. Saw your site bookmarked on Reddit.I love your site and marketing strategy.Your site is very useful for me .I bookmarked your site!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

Comments are closed.