As a Millennial, I am surrounded by Millennial friends. We live to share everything on social media. And I mean everything. Not just what we ate for lunch or which TMZ article made us laugh, but personal news and information about our lives. Jenny got married. Grandpa passed away. Look at my cousin’s ultrasound. Here I am getting 30 stitches on my left foot – with pictures.
This mentality is not only due to the way we grew up (with technology at the forefront and a minimal concern for online privacy) but we’re not the only ones doing it. Consider how many news stories you discovered through social media. I learned about Michael Jackson’s death from Facebook. My local news comes through this route as well.
Face it – as Millennials, social media beats the traditional channels as a news resource.
It is with all of these considerations that I am not baffled by the mega-sharing behavior of my generation.
So is it news if it’s not on social media?
Recently, I had some exciting personal news. I shared it with all the usual suspects: Close friends, family, work, etc. I shared it in person, via phone, emails, letters and even private video chats.
I did not, however, disclose it on social media.
The reason is simple: It’s my news. I want to be in control of who knows about it and how they find out. Too many times I found out news about close friends and family through a status update and I would have preferred that personal conversation. So it remains off social media (including this blog) until I’m ready.
What’s interesting is how Millennials, including myself, react and engage to the news sans social media. So how did it go? These are all real comments.
- “Wow, that’s great! I must have missed that on Facebook.” — friend
- “I wanted you to know in person, before you found out some other way, like social media.” — me
- “Would you just share it on Facebook already? I’m dying to talk about it online.” — friend
- “Please keep this off social media for now – we’ll share it there when we’re ready.” — me
- “If you’re keeping it off Facebook, does that mean it’s a secret? Can I tell my husband even?” — friend
- “Wow, I’m honored that you’re telling me this way.” — friend
- “I didn’t want to go to Facebook until I told you in person.” — me
When we’re all so comfortable sharing and being public on social channels, it’s sometimes hard to be traditional. In fact, traditional formats are losing their normalcy. This generation has come to expect social media as a place for sharing news.
I must admit, everyone has been great about respecting our wishes. That doesn’t stop me from checking Facebook and Twitter to sooth my paranoia, however. I know one day I’ll share it there. After all, I am a Millennial.
(Note: I’d be more than happy to tell you in some sort of non-social media format.)
How much do you share on social channels? Do you think it’s a generational mentality? Share your comments here.