Archive for the ‘Generation Y’ Category

A Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media

The Internet isn’t just prevalent in our lives, it is our lives. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, over 93% percent of teens ages 12 to 17 go online, 75% of them own a cell phone, 66% say they text, and  72% of teens have a social networking profile (eg. Facebook).

With the growing popularity of these social networking sites and mobile cell phones, the neighborhood playground now spans the globe.  Teens, as well as adults, now have access to and are exposed to more people than ever before.  Unfortunately the world has always known evil people to find new opportunity and the Internet is no exception.  The ubiquity and popularity of the Internet is just their fertile place to lurk and be mischievous if not downright hostile.

What follows are seventeen of the most shocking statistics I’ve read about a growing epidemic of online harassment and cyberbullying.  It’s a wake-up call for parents, teens, educators, politicians – just about everyone who uses the Internet or mobile phones. It is also a dramatic statement that the role of adults is to help our youth learn to use the Internet safely, not forbid its use. Because accessing the Internet is no longer a luxury or discretionary choice.  I’ll repeat my opening statement: The Internet…..is our lives.  (Keep reading too because at the end of this article, I have 2 important recommendations for parents on how to help their children use the Internet and mobile technologies safely.

  1. About half of all teenagers have experienced some form of online harassment and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly (Cyberbullying Research Center).
  2. Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet (i-SAFE).
  3. Over half of bullying and cyberbully attacks go unreported to parents, educators, or authorities.
  4. On a daily average, 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied if they attend classes.
  5. Every 7 minutes, a child is bullied on a school playground, with over 85 percent of those instances occurring without any intervention.
  6. 100,000 children carry guns to school in 2009 as a result of being bullied.
  7. As a result of being bullied, 19,000 children are attempting suicide over the course of one year.
  8. Once every half hour a child commits suicide as a direct result of being bullied (online and offline).
  9. At the end of 2010, over 30 children had taken their own lives after being cyberbullied.
  10. 64 percent of all teens say they do things online they don’t want their parents to know about (Lenhart, Made, and Rainie, 2006).
  11. 71 percent of teens receive message online from strangers (National Center for Minind and Exploited Children).
  12. 51 percent of teens have been asked for personal information online (MCAfee, Inc.).
  13. 42 percent of youths ages 10 to 17 have seen porn in the past year.Two-thirds of these exposures are unwanted (University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center).
  14. 26 percent of teens have been harassed by their cell phones either by voice or text (Pew Research: Lenhart, 2010).
  15. Size doesn’t matter – cyberbullies don’t have to be “tough” or big.
  16. 72 percent of parents say they can see their child’s full profile on social networking sites.
  17. Most victims have not set up privacy and security settings.

What can a parent do?

First, take the time to learn what Facebook is. Even if you don’t have to time yourself to use it, you need to understand it. Whether it’s Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any other social networking site, these sites are part of mainstream communication today.

Next, take some time and set up privacy and security settings. I can count on one hand out of the thousands of people I’ve met in workshops, seminars, and classrooms who have even glanced at the privacy settings in Facebook, the most popular of all the social networking sites.  Admittedly Facebook might be doing some squirrely things with our data but to their credit they do offer the most robust and sophisticated system of privacy settings of any social site.  Unfortunately their mission is for all people to be more social so the personal default settings are often a lot less restricted than most people might realize.  To help both adults and teens protect their privacy when using Facebook, I’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on how to “Network Safely When Using Facebook.”  It’s available now for only $5 by clicking here.

Third, it’s important that parents prepare not only their teens, but themselves as well, to combat this serious topic. The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World by Shawn Edgington guides parents and teens to developing an open communication on the dangers of the internet and bullying. It’s important that both parents and teens recognize symptoms and causes of bullying and are able to report it to an adult. Learn more about The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media and order Shawn’s book.

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Press Release: Cyberbullying Prevention Expert Reveals What Parents Should

As cyberbullying has become more frequent and increasingly vicious, the importance of educating parents about how to protect their kids is of paramount importance, says social media expert Ira S Wolfe. This epidemic of online bullying is what got Wolfe, managing partner/founder of Social Media Architects of Delmarva, involved with National Cyber Safety Awareness Day on May 17.

After listening to a recent radio interview about the threat and consequences of cyberbullying, Wolfe picked up the phone and called the radio guest, Shawn Edgington, America’s leading cyberbullying prevention expert.  The timing was perfect because Wolfe was about to give a presentation to local high school students and their parents about the threats and risks of cyberbullying.  Edgington shared with him her just released book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World.  “I immediately became immersed in the book, Wolfe said. “I rarely sit down and read a book but Shawn’s research and statistics were startling.”

Wolfe immediately agreed to help promote National Cyber Safety Awareness Day which coincided with a book drive for The Megan Meier Foundation.  On that day (May 17), donations of 1,000 copies of Edgington’s book are being sought to help the foundation’s founder,Tina Meier,educate parents about how to prevent cyberbullying. Meier created the foundation after her 13-year-old daughter committed suicide because she had been cyberbullied on a social network by a neighbor. This tragedy has been the impetus for Meier’s drive to warn parents of the hazards kids face growing up in a digitally connected world.

Wolfe hopes to have more opportunities to speak with parents about how to use social media safely.  “I’ve been helping hundreds of business people who attend workshops and classes at local Chambers of Commerce and Wor-Wic Community College understand how to use social media effectively and safely. Most of the participants are also parents and grandparents which makes what I teach in class touch them personally too. Helping children navigate online safely is also a great way to give back to the community.”

Book donations are 100% tax deductible and any individual or organization that donates a case of  books or more will be thanked in Edgington’s next printing of her book.  Books can be purchased  at:  https://secure4.planetlink.com/shawn_edgington.

About Ira S Wolfe: Ira Wolfe is the managing partner/founder of Social Media Architects of Delmarva (www.socialmediaarchitectsofdelmarva.com).  Wolfe has been described as a “Gen Y operating in a Baby Boomer body,” a name aptly given to him after writing his book, “Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization.”  Wolfe is also president of Success Performance Solutions (www.super-solutions.com),  a pre-employment and leadership consulting firm as well as the author of several books including “The Perfect Labor Storm 2.0” and “Understanding Business Values and Motivators.” He has also been recognized by several human resources organizations as one of the most influential bloggers and is a sought after speaker at many CEO, business, and human resources association meetings.

About Shawn Edgington: Shawn Edgington is America’s leading textpert and cyberbullying prevention expert, and the author of the newly released The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media and Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style. She is also the founder of The Cyber Safety Academy. Her mission is to raise public awareness about textual harassment, online predators, sexting, and cyberbullying prevention. Edgington has been featured in the upcoming documentary Submit:The Reality of Cyberbullying, and by Fox Business, Imus in the Morning, ABC-7′s View from the Bay in San Francisco,KRON4News in SanFrancisco, CNN Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union-Tribune, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, NPR, andThe Leslie Marshall Showamong others.

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A Senior’s Guide to Texting: BTW, JK & LOL

Texting has gone mainstream and popular abbreviations like  JK,  LOL, BTW, BFF, L8R, and CYA are now part of our everyday vocabulary. 

For those of you who still require an interpreter:

BTW = By The Way

JK = Just Kidding

LOL = Laugh Out Loud

BFF = Best Friend Forever

L8R = Later

CYA = See Ya

More and more seniors are texting, tweeting, and “Facebooking,” especially if they expect to communicate with the kids and grandkids. Not to be outdone by the digital natives (Generation Y), seniors (aka older Baby Boomers and the Veteran generation) have developed a texting code of their own. As you will soon read, this has created some confusion depending on the generation doing the writing and reading. For instance: when a 20-something writes LOL, he or she is “laughing out loud.”  But a senior might read “living on Lipitor.”  Or the teen who might write nonchalantly add BTW, meaning “by the way,”  a senior might read it as “bring the wheelchair.”  Of course, this code is all in jest…so far!  But just in case you do receive a text message from a senior, here’s a short list of senior texting codes (not to be confused with sexting!)  Enjoy the read.

ATD = At The Doctor’s
BFF = Best Friend Farted
BTW = Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT = Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM = Covered By Medicare
CUATSC = See You At The Senior Center
DWI = Driving While Incontinent
FWB = Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW = Forgot Where I Was
FYI = Found Your Insulin
GGPBL = Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA = Got Heartburn Again
HGBM = Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO = Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO = Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL = Living On Lipitor
LWO = Lawrence Welk’s On
OMMR = On My Massage Recliner
OMSG = Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL…CGU = Rolling On The Floor Laughing… And Can’t Get Up
SGGP = Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL = Talk To You Louder
WAITT = Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA = Wet The Furniture Again
WTP = Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO = Walker Wheels Need Oil
LMGA= Lost My Glasses Again
GLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

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Older Adults Catching Up To Young People Online

Older adults are catching up to young people when it comes to online social networking and other activities.

Social networking is growing at a faster rate among those ages 74 and up compared to any other demographic, a report says from the Pew Internet and American Life project released this week. The rate has quadrupled in the last two years, from 4 percent to 16 percent

While the Millennial Generation is more likely to access the Internet wirelessly than older adults, older generations are watching more online videos, listening to online music, and visiting online classified ad sites.

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Record 55 and Older Holding Jobs Squeezes Out Gen Ys

Better health, longer lives and less physically demanding jobs have prompted people to work longer. That’s good news for Baby Boomers who both long to work and have to work.  But it’s not good news for younger generations, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Percent-of-working-population-by-age-2010The number of people 55 and older holding jobs is on track to hit a record 28 million in 2010. People in their 50s, 60s or 70s are staying employed longer than at any time on record. For example, 55% of people ages 60 to 64 were in the labor market during the first 11 months of 2010, up from 47% for the same period in 2000.

With job creation creeping along, young people increasingly are squeezed out of the labor market. The portion of people ages 16-24 in the labor market is at the lowest level since the government began keeping track in 1948, falling from 66% in 2000 to 55% this year. There are 17 million in that age group who are employed, the fewest since 1971 when the population was much smaller.

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Baby Boomer Retirement Plan Bust Bad News for Gen Y

The average American has saved less than 7 percent of his desired retirement nest egg. Even those fast approaching retirement age are not well-funded. Respondents aged 50 to 59 have saved an average of only $29,000 for retirement.

Middle-class Americans think they need $300,000 to fund their retirement, but on average have only saved $20,000, according to a survey released by Wells Fargo & Co.  Consequently, more than a third of respondents believe they will have to work during retirement in order to afford the things they want or just to make ends meet.    

“Middle class” is defined as those aged 30 to 69 with $40,000 to $100,000 in househoAld income or $25,000 to $100,000 in investable assets and those aged 25 to 29 with income or investable assets of $25,000 to $100,000.

This is another blow for Generation Y.  The percentage of Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree who are unemployed reached 5.1 percent, the highest figure since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the number in 1970.

Meanwhile, national unemployment rose to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent last month. Those with advanced educations have a massive impact on the overall rate of unemployment as that group accounts for 30 percent of the labor force.

Unemployment levels for lower-educated individuals however, still remain much higher. Ten percent of high school graduates are unemployed and an even larger 15.7 percent without high schools diplomas are jobless. That’s particularly troubling when you consider that 30 percent of young people still drop out of high school in the United States.

Creating jobs is obviously a priority for government and business to revitalize our economy.  But the unemployment rate will remain high for years to come with so many unemployed workers who have achieved a high school diploma or less.

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6 Ways Parents Can Help Millennial Children Job Hunt

It can be hard for parents of Millennials to let go.  It is so hard that parents of this group of young adults – both Baby Boomers and Generation X – now entering the workforce have been labeled “helicopter parents” and “snowplow parents.”

Likewise, it is equally hard for many Millennials, also called Generation Y, to escape their parents’ sphere of influence.  The recession has only made matters worse. Tough economic times have forced many 20, 30 and even 40 year olds to return home. Recent statistics from the Census Bureau tell us that 49% of 18- to 24-year-olds live at home with their parent(s), compared with 35% in 1960. In 2008, 10% of 25- to 34-year-olds reported living at home. That is a 56% increase since 1970—such an increase that we now have another label for this generation: “Boomerangers.”

It’s natural for parents to care about their children’s future.  But escorting your 20-something to an interview or acting as your child’s agent with the CEO or VP of Human Resources to negotiate his or her salary and benefits may be carrying the relationship too far.  And parents – school days are over for your adult children.  You don’t to harass your child’s manager over a poor performance review like you did your child’s teacher during his elementary and high school years.

As Millennials and their parents stress out about finding jobs, it’s the right thing to do to discuss options.  And it’s not wrong for parents to want to hover like you’ve done for the past two decades. It’s just that there’s a limit to the value of your good intentions.  There’s a fine line between taking a heartfelt interest and becoming a co-dependent in a non-productive relationship.

Here are six ways parents can help their Millennial children job hunt, offered by Dan Finnigan, the former head of Yahoo HotJobs and now CEO of Jobvite.

  • Read over his resume to give you a fresh perspective, but NOT write the resume, word for word.
  • Coach her on how to negotiate a salary offer, but NOT negotiate on her behalf, term by term.
  • Brainstorm ideas for his job search, but NOT do the search, job by job.
  • Practice interview questions with your child, but NOT serve as her reference.
  • Alert your child to a local job fair, but NOT attend it with him (or worse yet, as his “agent”).
  • Talk over the pros and cons of job choices, but NOT make the final job decision.
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Holy Toledo, Batman: Elderly Life Begins At 50!

Last night I was inducted into the Hall of Elderly Citizens. At least that’s how I felt.

It happened while I was the guest lecturer at a business consulting class at Salisbury University. The instructor invites business people to share their real-life experiences about marketing, hiring consultants, economic trends and more. This is the fourth semester I’ve spoken to the class.

At last night’s class I spoke about how social media was really a revolution, changing the way business was done much like what happened during the Industrial Revolution more than a century ago. For these students, I truly believe the upheaval in the labor markets and economy will create new opportunities for those prepared and motivated to take advantage.

I had their attention for the moment and believed I had bridged a generation gap of nearly 40 years effortlessly. But I quickly learned that for some of these young adults, anyone over 50 is … not just old but elderly. Yes, 50 years old is elderly in the minds of our youth. For anyone who believes that 50 is the 30 or 60 is the 40 here’s a reality check.  To a 22 year old, 50 is still old!

The scene unfolded like this. One team of students is working on a marketing project to help a local community attract the “elderly.” More specifically the group asked me “if Facebook is a good option for the 50 and older demographic?” That’s when I polled the rest of the class. One student responded “no, I don’t think the elderly use Facebook.” Another agreed.

Elderly = 50 years and older.  Holy Toledo, Batman.  I must have missed that memo…or maybe I just don’t remember!

I suggested to the student team that most Baby Boomers would not likely be attracted to a marketing campaign that referred to them as elderly or senior citizens. Active adults, maybe. Elderly? No chance.

The question ignited an interesting discussion about “older people” using Facebook.  One student “just couldn’t imagine his Dad being on Facebook.”Another replied that her grandmother was on Facebook every day. Of course, I quickly realized that I could be as old as or older than her grandmother. Ouch!

Thankfully, several other students chimed in and validated my point that not all 50 year olds are over the hill and living the life of a fuddy-duddy. The truth is that the fastest growing segment of Facebook active subscribers are 55 and older and that Facebook could well be an important marketing strategy to attract the aging Baby Boomers.

My day of confronting generation gaps was not over. I left the class to meet with three Perdue School of Business students who started up a new online business.  The purpose?  They wanted help in developing an Internet marketing campaign and revenue model for their new venture.  Generation gap?  Hardly. This was a business opportunity and consulting meeting. Age never entered the conversation.

And moments after that meeting ended, I spoke with my 87 year old mother who was depressed because her Internet connection was down for almost a week. And when she finally resorted to walking to the library because “she just couldn’t stand [being unplugged from the Internet] anymore,” she found nearly 400 emails waiting for her. Even for the “elderly,” staying connected and doing business via the Internet is part of their daily lives.

For me, yesterday was the epitome and paradox of contrasting attitudes toward different generations. The day’s events offered an important lesson for all of us – do not pass judgment blindly. Most fifty year olds are not elderly and Gen Ys are not slackers, sloppy, and self-centered.  At least for a few minutes yesterday I was able to demonstrate how technology and especially social media can effectively disrupt generational stereotypes and bridge cohorts separated by over 65 years.

Fortunately for many, the gap is invisible.  For others, different generations live worlds apart. Hopefully, technology can bridge the gap and open communication.

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81 Percent Of Kids Have “Digital Footprint”; Boomers Delay Retirement

This Week’s Top Stories from the Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization Grapevine

Geeks

Working in a call center does not seem to be the Millennial’s generation cup of tea. According to a survey released by Sodexo Motivation Solutions, only 5 percent of the respondents regard working in a call center as exciting. More troubling for call center management is that only 55 percent consider call center work negatively. And the nail in the coffin is that one in three of those surveyed who are currently seeking work would rather claim unemployment benefits than work in a call center.

Geezers

Some 40 percent of U.S. workers say they’re going to have to delay retirement because they can’t afford to stop working, according to a survey released this week by consultants Towers Watson. The biggest reasons cited were the losses suffered in their retirement savings and the need to maintain company-sponsored health care coverage.

Googlization

They may not know how to use a computer yet, but a recent poll revealed that some children as young as six months already have an online presence, including their own email address. Antivirus maker AVG conducted a poll of mothers with children under two years old to see when they began uploading pictures of their kids to the web. According to the survey, the average age children acquire an online presence is six months, with more than 70 percent of mothers posting baby and toddler pictures online and sharing them through social networking sites. By the time they are two, 81 percent of kids have what AVG CEO J.R. Smith called a “digital footprint.” Other findings include:

  • 33 percent of children have had pictures posted online from birth.
  • 23 percent of parents uploaded their child’s pre-birth scan to the Internet.
  • 7 percent of babies even have an email address set up by their parents at birth.
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Grandmothers and Gen Y On Facebook Make Digital Odd Couple

“Is your grandmother on Facebook?” asks Kelly Steffen in her post titled Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation.  A year ago that might seem like an odd question because in 2009, social networking use by folks 65 and older stood at 13 percent. But this year social networking use among Internet users 65 and older grew by a staggering 100 percent, a recent Pew Research Center survey reports. That’s more than 1 out of 4 people in that age group are using the Internet are using Facebook and other social networking sites to connect with long lost friends and distant grandchildren.

This new odd couple is creating a digital conundrum for Kelly and her Gen Y cohorts. She writes, “As happy as I am to connect with her more easily, it’s still a bit strange to have her commenting on my pictures and updates. Another side of me says “way to go grandma!” As a millennial, I often take new technology for granted. Because I’ve been exposed to the growing advances in technology, it comes more easily to me than my grandmother who is completely out of place in the digital world.”

Kelly then did a great job at summarizing how different generations use social media. What follows are her findings:

Millennials (age 18-29)

According to Pew, Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history, largely due to the exposure of modern technology at an early age. As a Millennial, I’ve had more opportunities to have hands on experience with technology than my parents and grandparents. We embrace multiple modes of self-expression by exploring multiple social networking sites and create a large amount of online content.

Social media is just one of their uses of the Internet, and it’s not even the most important. They access the Internet continuously first and foremost for information and for entertainment and secondarily for connection.

Millennials far outpace older Americans in the use of social networking sites, with 75 percent having created a social networking profile.

Generation X (age 30-45)

Generation X uses technology as much as Millennials but primarily when it when it supports a particular lifestyle need. Much of the online content that this generation participates in is geared to online shopping and banking with less socializing than Millennials.

Boomers (age 46-64)

Baby Boomers use the internet and various social networks for travel and recreation information. Although email continues to be the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, many Boomers now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications. These include sharing links, photos, videos, news and status updates with a growing network of contacts.

Veterans (age 65+)

Seniors are less likely to use internet resources for simple lack of broadband access. Pew states that only 6 percent have created a social networking profile. The primary form of communication is email with 89 percent of those ages 65 and older send or read emails and more than twice of any other cohort on a typical day. Maybe this explains why I get at least three “chain emails” a week from my grandmother!

For another perspective on how different personalities approach social media, read 4 Social Networking Personalities. Which One’s Yours?

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