Think back to your teen years. What were you like as a young person? Think back to what you were going through and feeling when you were 13, 16, 18…go on – take a moment.
You know what you just felt? You felt exactly what young people today feel. We are no different to how you used to be. The only difference between you and us is that you’ve forgotten what it’s like!
Ten feet tall and bulletproof? How about Twenty feet tall and superman! We know we can do anything! You had that attitude way back when, and look where it got you? Tell me all these years have been a waste of time? The attitudes, energy and passion of young people is something I wish I could bottle up and sell to the depressed old men out there who look angry going to work in their suits to sit in a cubicle every day. You see, our emotions and attitudes haven’t changed – the only thing that’s changed is that you grew up.
Although there are many similarities between younger and older generations today, the current young generation comes down to five simple things.
Generation SMART can be broken down into five simple words:
Swift, Mobile, Accessible, Ready, Transparent
Young people are fast. They always have been. Perhaps not THE fastest, but definitely fast-ER. And in many respects, they have no way of channelling this speed at which they can achieve and do things.
This generation is more likely to travel, change jobs and houses more regularly than any other generation. A longitudinal study in Auckland concluded that the under 25-year old newlyweds are more likely to move houses within the first year of getting married. How’s that for the big dream of owning one and only house for the rest of your married life? Generation SMART have more access to travel, cars…they can travel halfway across the country in a night if they wanted to. Back in the day, it was a big deal to have a car…these days more than half of teenagers out there own one!
Generation SMART are more accessible – with the advances in technology, you can make contact with them whenever you need. This generation is easier to reach than other young generations have been, only because of the technology that’s out there…and it doesn’t only extend to cell phones – GPS systems, security systems and everything else can help keep track to increase accessibility to youth.
We’re ready…ready to take action! Coupled with our speed, want to help, and thinking we’re invincible, we’re ready for the challenges you set in front of us…we won’t always succeed, but the main this is we’re ready.
With the age of Facebook, young people are now becoming more transparent – with their thoughts, feelings, and everything in between. Some have no shame putting up intricate details of their lives, while some hide certain facts, knowing these may been seen by any one on the web. Generation SMART are transparent because they understand that their lives are an open book…should they choose to narrate it through some of the new means.
As you can see, there are some aspects that relate to when you were younger, but some that may be a bit new, but realistically, the only thing that different in today’s world is the environment we live in.
There is no miracle cure to make Generation SMART see things the way you do, but there are definitely ways to understand them – how they think and perceive the world because of the environment they were immersed in from Day 1. We can always learn to understand, so why not start today…all you need to do is perhaps something as simple as…strike a conversation.
Eva-Maria is a 21 year old social media and inter-generational relationships expert, family coach, international speaker, and author of the bestselling book ‘You Shut Up!’. Among other achievements, she’s the recipient of the Most Inspirational Role Model Award (2009) by Her Business, and Immediate Past President of the Wellington National Speakers Association Branch. Russian-born, Eva-Maria currently lives in New Zealand, running SocialeMedia and working with various groups, corporate, and families, and is on a full-on mission to help improve 10,000,000 adult-teenager relationships around the world! www.eva-maria.co.nz, www.socialemedia.co.nz