There is a lot you can say about Millennials.
They are the generation witnessing the growth of technology in the form of smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like.
With that growth comes new ways to communicate.
Nowadays, what is considered a powerful tool of communication?
Well, a little thing called social media.
The omnipresence of social media is undeniable.
It is the bridge of communication between one person and hundreds, thousands, millions and perhaps even billions of people.
Millennials are arguably the biggest users of social media, from using emojis to express themselves and incorporating the ever so popular hashtag to overusing filters on photos.
To the Baby Boomers before us, this can be viewed as wasted time.
Why is that?
Nowadays, you may ask yourself, "What happened to good old-fashioned communication (i.e. one-on-one, in-person conversation)?
Those against social media may stand by the choice that communication is suffering because Millennials are horrible communicators, forgetting the basics of proper communication.
One can say social media is here to stay, but is social media really useful for communication?
To further explore, let’s take a look.
What exactly is communication?
For the sake of argument, communication can be defined as the process of transforming words and thoughts via symbols and signs into meaningful action.
Does social media do that?
Of course it does! (And in many ways, at that.)
Millennials can be thanked for validating social media as a form of communication.
For instance, emojis are commonly used across the social realm.
What are emojis? They are symbols that embody an action such as an emotion.
As in what’s referenced in the definition of communication?
So if one were to be tweeting and used an emoji to supplement a thought and a feeling, will one dare say that was a symbol of expression?
Communicating an emotion? Embodying an action?
There’s no denying that was the reason the emoji was used for.
If I were to use a happy face emoji alongside an exclamation mark as a response to someone on social media, what exactly am I trying to communicate?
The use of the emoji is pretty clear, wouldn't you agree?
There's no denying using this emoji emphasized a person's enthusiasm, and in this case, it's mine.
I'm guilty of using it, and if you're reading this, you've more than likely used a similar emoji in social media.
In addition, the simple action of uploading a photo on a popular social media site is a means of communication.
You can easily disregard the slogans like “I’m Facebooking this,” or “I'm tweeting this out to my followers” as colloquial phrases, but they are much more than that.
The actions that follow these phrases is the act of communication taking place.
A picture uploaded onto a social profile is a form of expression; it's a means to share a certain event in one’s life occurring in real time.
It has the means to reach others that traditional communication can’t do (i.e. calling a person and actually talking to him or her).
As generations evolve, so do the means of communication and how they impact behaviors and attitudes.
While smartphones, emailing, text messages and social media are not going away, it important to understand whom you are speaking with and how to adapt your communication style.
Recognizing styles in yourself and others will help you influence others, build better relationships and become better communicators.
Simply speaking, social media began at the time of Millennials, and Millennials are the ones who helped usher it to the forefront of pop culture and our everyday lexicon.
In today’s modern times, social media has become a powerful communication tool, and you can thank Millennials for that.