It is no surprise that generations have many different factors that set them apart from one another. From your generation, to your parents, to your grandparents and even their parents, the way we think, speak, and act are all completely different. That’s why I believe that when it comes to grabbing the attention of a grandparent versus a millennial, it will take two separate ways of storytelling.
Millennials have grown up in a fast-paced world. Technology is constantly changing, and we, as a generation, have had the ability to adapt quickly. Unlike my grandmother who doesn’t know how to upload a picture on her Facebook. Along with this, our attention span has quickly minimized. We are used to looking at quick tweets that are less than 140 characters, and scrolling through pictures that if we like, we just tap our thumb twice. As a generation, I think our preferences for storytelling fall into this sort of category. If the story is to the point and/or relatable, it’ll be appealing.
Personally, I prefer stories that are funny, relatable, and real. I can’t speak for all millennials, but I can say this; Buzzfeed is our generation. They hit articles, video series, news and quizzes in a variety of different interests making it possible for just about anyone to find something they like. Even just finding a specific article brought me through a journey of quizzes.
An example of the kind of articles I find entertaining are ones like “Senior year described by The Office” where they list multiple examples of what describes senior year and uses GIF’s from The Office. The example I think inhibits millennials preferences would be the Buzzfeed article about the cast of 13 Reasons Why. For one, Netflix is also a huge part of our generation and the show 13 Reasons Why just released on March 31st and has been a topic of conversation throughout social media. For two, it has pictures you scroll through (like Instagram) with little captions (like Twitter). Although this isn’t an everyday article or example of storytelling I would want to read all the time, it is a good example of how Buzzfeed delivers stories in an out-of-the-box way.
My preferences for storytelling I think are a combination of my generation/demographic and my personality. Of course, everyone is going to like different things. However, one thing I think companies could take away is to remember that we have a quick attention span. If I start reading something and the first 15 seconds don’t capture my attention, I will quickly swim away onto something else; like a goldfish.