A recent Nextgen Journal post by Catherine Sloane has created quite a bit of controversy, especially among those of us who are–at least relatively speaking–a little geezer-y. The title of Sloane’s piece pretty much sums up her premise and the controversy it ignited: “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.”
My somewhat strongly held opinion is this: if her Nextgen article is at all indicative, Catherine Sloane is an idiot. Yes, that may be mean, and yes, I could write a more nuanced response, but Sloane’s premise is asinine enough to deserve nothing more than a quick dismissal. To give it any more time and attention would be kind of like trying to educate the neighbor’s children about the fragility of the zinnia as I try to keep them from tromping through my garden. Why do so when it’s so much easier–and just as effective–to just shout “YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN”?
I honestly don’t think that my fellow Gen Xers, or the baby boomers who came before us, should take the most offense to Sloane’s premise. Most of us, after all, have the perspective to dismiss it as the folly of youth. I think the true indignation should come from Sloane’s under-25 peers. Sloane has, you see, provided yet another example of her generation’s unprecedented generationness–a hyperfocus on their standing in the world as somehow unique from everything that’s preceded it. Yes, your generation is special. Just like every generation that preceded it (except the music used to be a lot better).
Now, just as it’s stupid to claim that only those under a certain age are capable of doing a job that requires, first and foremost, the good judgment that comes with experience, it would be ridiculous to paint any generation with one broad brush. Most millenials aren’t nearly as self-important as the person who created the Nextgen Journal masthead. (“Voices of the next generation–our generation.” You hear that? Ours. Not yours. Ours.) But that why I think Sloane’s contemporaries, not us older folks, should lead the charge against her. It’s one thing for Peter Shankman (whose comment on the article was succinctly put: “I no longer wish to live on this planet”) to criticize Sloane. It would be quite another for her peers to say, “no, she’s nuts.”
So, younger folk, what say you? Does Sloane deserve a specific number of whacks with the wet noodle, or are we old folks just too darn sensitive? Let’s hear your comments–and while you’re at it, keep off the grass.