The Millennial Barrage

I really am beginning to tire of hearing about all this “millennial” speak.  I don’t know if my mom and dad’s generation spoke so often about the “Gen X-ers” or not, but I sure don’t remember it. I think, in part, we have so hyped up this terminology, that is has become nothing more than a marketing gimmick for books, lectures, seminars, and the like and the revenue that come along with these.

Make no mistake, the world is different now than when I was a young person, but the world was different from when my mom and dad were young people, too.  And the world will be different for the next generation. We act like “millennials” have just arrived on the planet from some far off galaxy and know nothing about planet Earth. The fact that we continue to lump everyone born during those years (and no one can agree the exact years, some say 1980-2002) is the easiest way to build obstacles when it comes to communicating to them.

Baby boomers had the television, Gen X had the personal computer, and Millennials have the smart phone/tablets. Baby boomers main form of communication was the telephone, Gen X was the email system, and Millennials has become social media: Instagram and SnapChat.
Serving as a student pastor for many years, along with producing a nationally syndicated radio show for students for fifteen years, I’ve come to a certain realization about young people. With all of the differences generationally and technologically, there are some simple truths that can be used to communicate with this age group.
They are:

1-Be real. That means be yourself, not someone you aren’t. Young people see enough “plastic people” in their every day lives.

2-Don’t sugarcoat the issues. Be honest. It’s possible to speak truth and still make an impression. In fact, even if they don’t like the truth, they’ll probably respect you for telling it to them. Eventually, if not immediately.
3-Admit when you are wrong.  I already know you aren’t perfect—so do the millenials.
4-Listen as much as you want to be listened to.
5-Make them feel like their ideas matter. Why? Because they do.

So, what do you think? Sounds like an easy list to me. As a matter of fact, I think this list would apply to most of us, regardless of age.

Follow Jack on Twitter @jackeason