You Are A Millennial — And You Are Lucky
Millennials were lucky to experience childhood in a time where there were far fewer digital distractions than there are today, and I’m incredibly grateful to be born into that generation.
Instead of coming into the world surrounded by technology, we grew with it. I was 10 years old when the first iPhone was released on June 29th, 2007. I didn’t get my first iPhone until 7 years later, in 2014. When I was in elementary school, we had dial-up internet. YouTube (which launched when I was 7) took roughly 15 minutes to load, and you couldn’t reach our home phone if the internet was in use. Because of this, I spent very minimal time on the web.
To keep myself entertained as a child, I went outside and played games (no, not Angry Birds) with my friends until the sun went down (wild concept, I know.) When we ran out of activities to do, we created new ones. We did a lot of exploring, adventuring, building forts out of wood or snow. I’m fearful that younger generations will be too caught up in the digital world to experience these things for themselves. I’m fearful that Angry Birds will become the new hide-and-go-seek, and that Skype chats will become the new sleepover.
Today’s kids are being born into an entirely different world, where one’s iPad is a viable contender for his best friend. A world where he can contact his real-world ‘friends’ by typing a message over Facebook or Kik instead of simply knocking on their front door. A world that pushes extroverts towards a more introverted way of life.
Why does this matter?
Because you, as a millennial, grew into the tech age. You understand the ways of the digital world, the best methods to make use of the tools available to you today, but still had the chance to experience the world as a child without the isolation of technology.
You grew up in a golden age, a time that will never be replicated in the foreseeable future.
You are a special mix of someone who learned the ways of verbal communication, while still being able to capitalize on the power of social media and the world-wide web.
What can you do with this?
Use your skills as an expert in social media(which you are, believe it or not), combined with your skills in real-life interaction to build something incredible. One of the first places to start is Personal Branding (which I just wrote about.)
If you have a message that you feel passionate about, something that you want to teach people, or even if you want to share something about you with the world, you have the channels available today to do just that. Because you grew up as these powerful forms of communication evolved, you understand them hundreds of times better than the older generations.
How can you capitalize on that?
In 2012 I decided I wanted to help people learn to do some simple trampoline maneuvers, found a gap in the YouTube market, and did just that. Today, my video is the #1 trampoline backflip tutorial, and has been viewed well over a million times (yes, the video does embarrass me to a certain extent, however.)
I also had the chance to chat with one of the leaders in my industry, Rory Kramer, over Facebook. Rory shot Justin Bieber’s most recent video for Company. We had a brief conversation about video, where I shared some of my work with him, and we discussed shooting style. This was before Rory became wildly famous.
Had I told my grandfather back then that I wanted to teach a million people to do something, he would have scoffed. He would likely have told me that it would take years of time, and a whole lot of effort. Instead, it took me an afternoon. That is the power that you have today.
You can do these things too
Take a shot, be courageous, reach out to people you want to speak to (in an effective and non-pesky way), and never tell yourself that you don’t have the power or ability to do something great.
Embrace the time which you grew up in, and never forget how lucky you were to be born into our generation.
My name is Dane Cutcliffe, and I love creating engaging content.
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