Recently, Inc. ran a piece titled, “11 Reasons Why a 23 Year Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” Being a 23-year-old myself and quite infatuated with social media, it caught my eye. Also, I’ve included a picture that is equally stereotypical.
While I do appreciate Hollis Thomases’ early disclaimer,“pardon the generalization of 23 year olds,” I’m still pleasantly offended. So, instead of writing this rebuttal essay style, I am going to give you 11 reasons why you should hire someone as shallow and unprofessional as a 23-year-old.
1. Many of us are not mature enough?
In fact, a lot of us are. I could care less about research from Clark University, as the article cites. “Instead, they tend to feel unstable and self-focused and would rather explore who they are and how they can transform their lives,” states Thomases. Personally, I feel quite stable enough to draft up a social strategy and run multiple social accounts for a variety of brands and not to mention a mayor of a very nice sized metropolitan city at one point.
2. Yes, we may be focused on our own Social Media activity.
As much as society frowns at our ability to multi-task, the truth is…we can. Will your 23-year-old community manager be looking at their own sites periodically? Yes. Wouldn’t you? Yes. How about a 45-year-old? Probably, but they’d be using Internet Explorer so they would take five times longer to post an update that is socially irrelevant.
3. Most 23 year olds have seen life before social media and have grown with it.
Therefore, our experience in social media and connecting people online tends to be better than those who are still adapting. Social media is something that comes very natural to those under the age of 35. We are often thinking of ways to cite, link, and mention others in the content we post before our older, more traditionally experienced boss can log in to their Hotmail account.
4. We all have crazy, intoxicated friends?
This may be more or less true for certain people. I don’t see this excuse only pertaining to persons of a certain age. My own mother has posted more embarrassing content than some of my best friends. Personally speaking, most of my friends have better things to do than derail a social strategy.
5. College doesn’t prepare you for work?
News to me! I’ll be sending back my degree once received I suppose. Sure there are no classes titled, “How to respond to political radicals on Facebook” but that is where critical thinking and general intelligence come into play. That is also where countless Public Relations courses or common sense come into play. Most grads are more than the sum of their courses.
6. We may not understand the employer’s business?
In some ways, this may not be our fault. Perhaps the higher up executives or managers have not made the company’s missions and mantras easily readable or accessible. Most social media positions are highly underestimated and rest at the bottom of the pyramid. What better way to expand your company’s inner culture and passion than through communicating it with all employees?
7. Since when do young people not know how to communicate?
Hollis states we have “yet to learn the art of communicating.” I’m sorry, let’s look at the ages of most social media entrepreneurs. You know, Zuckerberg and his fellow game changers. Maybe we’re too busy with our gigapets to learn how to communicate?
8. Millennials are not funny! Not at all.
It’s true that some brands do not benefit from humor. Funeral homes for instance, I’d hate to be in charge of their online presence. I know I am biased but most twenty somethings are pretty damn witty. This is more clear on the internet than any other vehicle.
9. Social Media Savvy & Technical Savvy are not the same?
Any honest, intelligent social media manager knows the benefits of analytics. In fact, it’s the thing we thrive on. If your intern is mindlessly posting random content at random times of the day, then yes you have hired the wrong person. Don’t group us together. I’ll sit down and discuss insights any day or I’d be happy to write a 10 page report for you.
10. A 23-year-old who works strictly 9-5?
Yeah right. Any true job involving social media comes with the 24/7 requirements. I know that I am basically on the job at all hours of the day. The internet never sleeps and neither do we.
11. Don’t give us your personal passwords
Duh. I don’t want access to your own personal Facebook and YouTube account. Any professional social media policy has these rules in practice. Trust me, any smart community manager doesn’t want your personal information. It’s hard enough keeping track of our own then add in the brands’ information.