They say that we Millennials (people born between the Walkman and iPod), as a “Net Generation” of “digital natives,” possesses “altered cognitive wiring” that processes information in “parallel”–that is, everything at once. If that wasn’t enough “finger-quoting” for you, this means that Millennials have the gift of “multitasking”. You know, like texting and driving. Meanwhile, older “Gutenberg” generations, as “digital immigrants,” continue to think the old-fashioned sequential way, one thing after another, like driving and then texting after you get to the destination. Get with the program guys, for realz, YOLO!
Whether in our dorm rooms, or offices, we young people can do everything at the same time — text, play Call of Duty, type a senior thesis, watch a complex TV series, do research on Google, and upload 68 weekend pictures to Facebook — without (apparently) missing a beat. We list this quality off in our resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn skills. We use our phones as a second screen while watching TV, as if one isn’t enough. Keeping up with the twists and turns of a movie while surveying Twitter is not uncommon. These patterns of constant media exposure and data gathering make the Millennial generation a perfect target for companies that use social media effectively.
Over a century ago, the psychologist William James wrote powerfully of the “extreme mobility of
attention” and distractibility of the young mind. Most modern psychologists agree that the brain Attention: Digital Marketers Reach Distracted Millenialsitself does not become fully mature in its managerial function until the mid-twenties. In other words, it’s not digital technology that makes youth flighty. It’s the flightiness of youth that makes us use digital technology the way we do. If that is true, then multitasking is here to stay, and marketers can learn to engage the patterns of the youth.
FOUR Reasons Digital Marketers Reach Millenials
#4. Vague goals while social media surfing
We get on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks in order to be distracted. We spend time perusing tweets and feeds to take up time, be entertained, and gather information. Rarely do people go to Facebook to get on for vital information and bounce off. We spend our time in leisure and advertisements in the newsfeed are sometimes welcomed as a fun distraction.
#3. Increased bandwidth
Bandwidth is the maximum capacity of a computer network, more simply, its how much the network can handle. Our minds work in a similar way, and now more information is running through our minds every day, but people are finding ways to handle it more efficiently. Emails can be stored in lists, saved, or flagged. Tweets can be favorited, groups joined, Facebook pages liked. Since we are coming up with more and more ways to organize data, advertisements can find their place in the minds of consumers that can now store, organize, list, save and view whenever and however they want.
#2. Millennials don’t minimize interruptions.
Typically, we answer to distractions and rarely take the necessary measures to make sure we’re locked in to what we’re doing. We are constantly interrupted by relatively unimportant matters, and lose focus. It’s so tempting to just take a minute to click over and check the daily news or your Facebook. But it never takes only a minute, and before we know it, all the working time has been spent on anything but working.
#1. No days off
It’s not too often that we have a break from our trusty digital devices. Although it’s nice to turn them off and get away, sometimes that doesn’t feel like an option. We go to sleep next to them and wake up to them, and we are always looking for information from whoever will give it to us.
To learn more about social media, you can download our whitepaper “Building a Social Media Strategy” here.
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