I’m going to go out on a limb here – having just read this excellent piece by William Deresiewicz in the New York Times called “Generation Sell”. I’m going to say that social media is a fountain of youth. And I don’t mean in the way some people use it by posting photos of themselves taken 10 years ago.
No. Social media can actually make us think like we’re 27. And, I don’t mean “27 again” – because for most of us currently trying to recapture youth, that was a time when when we were hunkered down in Baby Boom, Gen Jones or Gen X thought. Even if social media existed back then, we’d be too self-absorbed, trying to keep up or just plain slacking to think outside the box about how it might help us be better people.
Deresiewicz, who is living in one of today’s epicenter’s of cool – Portland, Oregon – wrote “Generation Sell” as an exercise to define today’s youth culture. You know who they are – little entrepreneurs who do everything from create billion dollar companies in their hoodies to those who sell homemade pickles at the farmer’s market. Money isn’t important. It doesn’t matter if they have a lot or a little. The common bond they share is “social entrepreneurship”. It’s not about promoting their products – it’s about promoting themselves and what they believe in – whether that is sharing your life online or your pickles with your community.
Those under 30 use social media “to create a product – to create a brand” and that product is them. They treat themselves like “little businesses, something to be managed and promoted.” How fun! What if we all enjoyed doing that as much as Generation Sell does? We could indeed recapture youth through social media then. We could all be Generation Sell.