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Fresh ideas are ageless

July 26, 2012 - 0 Comments

“Am I being replaced by 12 year-olds?”  The fast-paced world of social media is a constant reminder that marketers need to learn new skills throughout their careers.  Still, I even surprised myself with my defensive reaction to seeing two girls half my height in the office.  I mention height because I am more than twice their age. To my relief, they were visitors from a college-track summer program.  They had come to Cisco to learn more about careers in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  One of the young ladies couldn’t stop talking about how much she enjoyed meeting new friends in Oklahoma via TelePresence.

I joined the corporate workplace before graduating from college, and at that time it seemed to me that the key to success was imitating my older colleagues.  Now that I’m in my thirties, I thoroughly enjoy mentoring students and recent graduates, helping them navigate the world of full-time work.  There is, however, a selfish reason for my wanting to help young people who are interested in technology: I love their ideas.

My 6 year-old son and my 13 year-old niece have a way of arriving at the simplest and most brilliant solutions.  All I can do is say “Wow!” and ask them to tell me more.  They inspire me through their games and observations, and I want to stay fun for them.

That being said, we should respect the mold-shattering contributions of youth, while honoring the time-tested voices of experience.  When seeking advice regarding recurring weather patterns, economic cycles, or relationship success, it still makes sense to go to the experts, and they’re usually older.

There are many social media success stories that include elderly people.

Here is my favorite example by a company:

KRAFT hires octogenarians to run its social media accounts


This is my favorite example by a digital citizen:

 Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein Meets Man Who Raised $600,000


What are your thoughts on how social media is embracing the older segment of our population?

Follow Silvia Spiva @silviakspiva

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