Modern-Age Texting: How it Reflects the Way Young Generations Work
Have you ever gotten annoyed over how your parents text? The way they send huge blocks of paragraphs that felt more like a school essay than a friendly “how are you doing, my dear?” Or, if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, felt absolutely sick of your kids’ lazy responses and wished they’d type more than just a simple ‘k’. Even within families, the way different generations approach texting has always been the root cause of miscommunication. And it’s frustrating when your message gets misinterpreted as either too serious or too insincere depending on who the person on the receiving end is.
Likewise, now that Millennials and even Gen Z’s are taking over the job market, having a multi-generational employee base is entirely common and inevitable. As seniors of the workplace, understanding the way young people text and how it reflects their work preference will come in handy when managing diverse teams.
A Look into How Young Generations Text
To give you an idea of how young people communicate online:
- First off, long paragraphs and full sentences are out of the question.
- In this modern-day where convenience is preferred, acronyms such as ‘btw’ and ‘fyi are widely incorporated into texting.
- They also use emojis, like the laughing-crying face 😂, which – believe it or not – was named ‘Word of the Year’ by Oxford Dictionaries in 2015.
Informality Helps Shape the Culture Young People Want
It’s true in a traditional work setting, sending your boss a smiley face may seem unprofessional. Yet on the contrary, if leaders are to embrace the use of casual lingo, it generates an entirely different effect that is friendly, approachable, and fun.
“Be a human being, not just a boss.” – Nancy Halpern, a leadership consultant and principal at KNH Associates
Keep in mind this generation grew up with desires far greater than a stable income and a roof over their heads; they crave personal connections that include bonding with their peers and seniors. So, yes, if an emoji can narrow that gap between generations while, all the better, break down the conventional stereotypes of a strict and tough boss, it shouldn’t hurt to give your texting style a little modern tweak, right?
An Indication of Spontaneity & Creativity
Not many people at this modern age want to spend twenty minutes crafting a well-structured e-mail when the convenience of Slack and other messaging platforms exists. To young people, e-mails may still be a relevant channel that provides experiences they crave, but there’s no doubt that a back-and-forth text conversation gets the job done faster than a lengthy text-filled e-mail. After all, young Millennials and Gen Z’s are known as the spontaneous bunch. To confine them under set structures and formalities is a big strike to their creative nature and job effectiveness.
At Prevue, we always emphasize the importance of being the right fit. Sure, the way young generations prefer to communicate may not be perfect, but if this new ideal is what helps them thrive in a workplace, isn’t that all it matters?