Today I attended and participated in an excellent Social Media Atlanta session entitled Gen Y and Social Media. The event was put together by my friend Olivia Patrick whom has also created the Georgia Tech Social Media Special Interest Group. Joining Olivia on the panel were Ajai Karthikeyan, Sam Lawrence, and Matt Smith. Stephen Fleming moderated. And moderation was needed for a quite spirited discussion both on and off line.
At some point I made the comment "Great panel but boy do they say "we" a lot." It was a great panel. But the latter half of the sentence seems to be misinterpreted. The point of the comment was that the panel was taking their personal experiences and extrapolating them to their generation as a whole. It's most interesting that this type of generalization is something that Gen Y, which has also been referred to as Generation Me, seems to abhor.
Brandon Sheets rightly and quickly pointed out the diversity of Gen Y. But the conversation got a little intense. Those from a more communications oriented education and social media practitioner background demanded to be heard. And it was great to see Kate Clark, Kaitlyn Dennihy, Katherine Melick and Caitlin Peterson voice their differing opinions on the gen y and social media both during the panel discussions and in one on one conversations afterward.
My takeaways from the session are threefold. Don't treat your cohorts in a manner you don't want to be treated. Gen Y is diverse. And most importantly, Gen Y is mature and talented. As Stephen commented in his closing remarks, there is no way that he could have assembled such a smart and well spoken group of students to sit on a panel when he was in college. Same holds for me.
Kudos to all, our future is in good hands.