I may pretend to be a Millennial at times, but I am actually part of generation X, the generation born after that of the baby boomers (late 1960s to late 1970s), we had the first home computers. My first computer was a Dragon 32, with a whopping 32k of memory! I grew up listening to legends such George Michael, Michael Jackson and Prince and watching films such as Top Gun, Back to the Future and Star Wars.
A lot of my peers are totally disconnected from the millennial generation and they are going to get a bit of a shock when their kids start high school. In the last 12 years, we have seen massive developments in technology including Social media, Smartphones, Cloud and Applications. It’s almost like our mindsets these days are split into 2 categories. The 20th and 21st Century mindset. If you grew up in Britain, you will no doubt have heard sentences muttered from your elders beginning something like “When I was a lad, things used to be different..”. I always used to dismiss it as an inter-generational thing. That was until I started moaning about exactly the same things myself about 5 years ago.
20th Century folks tend to moan about lots of things, my short list is here:
- Lack of a sense of community
- Job Security
- Salary and Bonuses
- House Prices
- Schools and Education
- Kids spending so much time on social media
- Kids playing games on their phone all day
- Rubbish Pensions
- Why Live Sport is no longer on BBC1
Then I realised, that I am pretty lucky to be able to moan about what are first world problems. In the 19th Century, the list would have included clothing, food and staying alive (avoiding war). This was when I realised I had to change my mindset.
So here it is, my rules for surviving the 21st century:
- Don’t read newspapers – They are totally biased and more often than not contain propaganda and appeal to a human’s natural draw towards negativity. There is enough negativity already in this world without you adding to it every morning. I get my news from the internet and social media. This way I can personalise my content to make sure I filter out all the negative stuff. For example, On LinkedIn, my homepage is full of tech articles. On Twitter, I follow only the people I want to follow.
- Switch to TV on demand – I stopped watching TV when video streaming took over. Now I can watch what I want, when I want and I don’t have to watch any adverts and news if I don’t want to. I subscribe to Amazon Prime and Netflix for great series and movies and Sky Sports for the football. Have you noticed that kids don’t watch TV anymore? They watch You Tube!
- Embrace social networking, face to face networking is so 20th Century, first of all it’s expensive as you normally have to pay for the privilege (events, meals), second of all it’s uncomfortable (not everyone likes talking to strangers). If you are in sales or marketing, you can qualify your leads without spending a penny. If you are dating, you don’t have to waste time talking to someone who you share nothing in common with. If you are just a sociable kind of person, you can make friends, instantly and share ideas with like minded individuals
- Keep It Simple, Stupid – the 20th century mindset seemed to be about making things as complicated as possible to make lots of money. This can be said of Investment, Finance, Economics, IT, Management Consulting. In the 21st Century, we should try and keep things simple and customer focused instead of ripping people off. It is now more difficult to get away with unethical behaviour as this will be exposed on social media and marketplaces.
- Use your phone for everything – Anyone seen a modified Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with Wifi at the top? That’s because the phone has become a necessity. My phone is now my personal organiser, credit card, boarding pass, games machine, tv, computer, e-reader, camera…the list goes on. If you don’t know how your phone can be used for these things then it’s time to find out.
In my opinion, Donald Trump won the election because he understood the difference between the 20th Century and 21st Century mindsets and used it to his advantage. What can it do for you?