Am I Too Old For Social Media?

Samuel Junghenn
Samuel Junghenn Managing Director, Think Big Online

Posted on October 24th 2012

Am I Too Old For Social Media?

Just a few days ago I was looking in the mirror and I noticed a few grey hairs starting to stream through.  It got me to thinking, am I getting too old to efficiently engage and connect in Social Media?

If you believe the media stories, Social Media - especially networks like Facebook and Twitter - are targeted for the younger generation, dominated by the younger generation and if you want a great “social media guy” then you should look young.

Now by no means would I consider myself to be old, I’m just past 30 and I feel as if my best years are to come.  In fact I think my skill set, my life experience and my business knowledge perfectly position me for social media success.

The problem is, though, business owners are making decisions on whom to use as their “social media expert” based on age.  I couldn’t think of a more ridiculous way of making a hiring decision. 

My mum and dad grew up in a time where they witnessed the first person to walk on the moon. This doesn’t mean they should automatically qualify as the next Astronaut.

In fact my mom is terrified of heights so I doubt that she’d make a very good Astronaut at all.  But the business logic being used by businesses these days when making decisions on their social media hires would suggest this is the trend.

Let’s get real - when hiring someone for a position or engaging a company to provide you with services, age really shouldn’t be an influencing factor.  You should be making decisions based on experience, skills, training, results - all the factors that indicate you’re more likely to succeed in your decision.

Don’t get me wrong - there are some great young entrepreneurs (you’ve just got to look at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to realize that) but that doesn’t automatically mean that ALL young people are great.

You see, there’s been a stereotype created around the kind of people who are great on social media.  Personally, being a great user of social media doesn’t mean you’re going to be a great marketer on social media.

These are two completely different concepts, which come from two completely different ball parks.  Smarten up business owners, make decisions based on sound knowledge, skills and results, not on age.

Samuel Junghenn

Samuel Junghenn

Managing Director, Think Big Online

Serial Entrepreneur that LOVES helping grow medium sized business through the use of cutting edge online marketing techniques

See Full Profile >

Comments

mike11
Posted on October 24th 2012 at 2:45PM

Ask Zuckerberg who Facebook is targeted for and I guess the answer would be "everybody as long as they can use it". Who wouldn't want more clients, right? Age is not a problem. It depends on how enthusiastic a person is.

Thanks for the article!

RichardHealth
Posted on November 16th 2012 at 4:14AM

Nice piece Samuel.

I am in the 40-54 demographic which is seen by some as too old for anything.

That said, I also represent a rather large group who are eager to get their collective head around Social Media. The problem with the young guns is that many see those who want to know and learn as laggards. They (the young guns) don't realise that they are perpetuating the stereotype of the "arrogant cavalier" by treating those with experience and passion (but with limited knowledge of the technology) with contempt.

Those employing also fall into the same trap; the employer believes Social Media are the new cool toys that only the kids understand. Ask Obama or Peter Fox  who is using Social Media. Employ a kid to look after your brand or employ a granny; the outcome will be measured by results...not the persons age.

There is no age for Social Media; if you are good at it, you are good at it.

        

Stefan Hendrick
Posted on September 5th 2013 at 6:19AM

Well I hope age doesnt put me out! Im also in the 45/55 group. Age does not matter the slightest bit, I have members over 80 years old on several of my sites .

Sites need to be made more user freindly for the older folk:)