Josh Spector had this insight specifically about near 40-somethings (maybe 5-10 years in either direction around that age too):
40-year-olds look up (in age) to people who succeeded in a pre-social media world, and down to people who succeeded in a post-social media everywhere/everything world. Worst of all, they don’t feel comfortable in either world.
I know it hits home for me (and clearly him), so I’m guessing this hits home for some of you too.
The people ahead of us didn’t need it to succeed. The people behind us have used it to aid in their success. And when we personally try it on for size, it feels like we’re in dad’s suit or trying to look cool in skinny jeans. Just like fashion, the hard part is figuring out what works for us.
This insight is helpful for people working with near 40-year-olds too. They’re not quite digital natives, so they’ll have a skewed view and different comfort zone than the boomer who only adopted the platforms to stay somewhat relevant and the gen z’er who has had a cell phone since middle school.
If you’re 40 (or 36 or 52 or 87!) and still trying to figure out what role social media will or will not play in your future success you’re not alone.
So, my real question is this – what are you doing about it? If it feels weird but you’re doing it anyway, how and why? And, what’s working for you? Send me an email and let me know.