Next week I turn 30 and I’m having a pre mid-life crisis. As much as I enjoyed working for Aspiration (the technology) nonprofit that taught me about blogs, wikis and social media, I feel this new technology is connecting me more with millennial's and distancing me from many of my older colleagues that aren't as technology savvy.
I am constantly using new forms of technology and information. I just got a new MacBook and set up my firefox browser with awesome add ons that allow me to see my delicious bookmarks, twitter updates, facebook account, and my new favorite thing is tag and cite research through zotero without having to go to those individual sites.
I am not trying to separate myself from my non-technology savvy colleagues, but I am really enjoying social networking and staying connected to my friends and colleagues online. I don’t want to tell my colleagues you should be using these social media tools, however I wish there was some way the generations can stop our assumptions of one another and appreciate what we all bring to the table. For example, the ARNOVA keynote asked the audience what advice would you give to people in their 20’s and 30’s -- and someone said pay attention, get off your blackberry. I happened to be on my handheld at the time--live blogging and laughed out loud when I heard this (I’ve done that a lot this conference) because I thought to myself --I am paying attention its just in a different way than older generations are used too.
This also came up in another session about about creating online communities for American Humanics students, one of the presenters said that millennials need to listen to the ED's in what culture they create for the organzation and if it isn't a culture of twittering and facebooking than get used to it. A colleague of mine told me how she got frustraited because her staff member was on facebook and when she told that particular staff member to get off facebook, they replied, but I just got a new donor for the organization. We must appreciate the work that has happend before us but also realize "These times are a changing" and technology is opening up new opportunities. I like many millenials receive updates from the Chronicle of Philanthropy and other nonprofits hrough Twitter as well as updates from friends and colleagues. These forms of media are providing new opportunities for nonprofits to raise money and connect with their constituents in a new way.
Last night some ARNOVA members mostly senior leaders well known for their scholarly work engaged in several performances as a humorous and fun talent show. I particularly enjoyed Dennis Young perform Bob Dylan’s song These Times are a Changing. He was totally off key, however this song (released in 1963) is particularly important for the boomer generation and the movements that ensued in the 60’s. Then I thought about a song that really resonates with me and my generation by John Mayer, Waiting on the World to Change. Gen X and Y may not have the same type of movements that the boomers had in the 60’s but we certainly have a movement going on -- a movement of the use of technology.