5 Tips For Managing Intergenerational Communication

smartphone-landscape 4 Tips For Managing Intergenerational Communication

It never occurred to us that phone calls could be considered an “invasion of privacy.”

Even after years of telemarketers punishing our telephones at the absolute worst times, the phone has been the way you communicate with someone in any enduring or substantive way.

But every generation sees technology differently, and, if pushed, we might just remember our parents scolding us when we were young because the phone rang during dinner (and our friends should’ve known not to call during that time). In some ways, those days are long gone. But they’re also very much back.

We should’ve known something was up when middle school students we’ve been working with have been strangely resisting using email, responding to the idea the same way they might at the suggestion to write a letter or clean their room.

The following infographic from accreditedonlinecolleges takes up the very interesting idea of intergenerational communication–a 45 year-old mother needing to contact a 21 year-old daughter, or a 38 year-old son needing to tell his 56 year-old mother happy birthday. Or, if we want to be immediately relevant, a 36 year-old teacher needing to reach 8th grade students consistently.

The graphic offers 4 tips for intergenerational communication, including considering length and audience (hey, these are writing strategies too!), and use bullet-points.

So the big idea here is brevity and platform: be brief, and use the right platform to reach your intended audience. To that we might add allow for choice–focus less on how, and more on consistency and accountability. One of many 21st century fluencies is the ability to get the information you want in a way that makes sense to you.

We can only guess what communication might look (and sound) like in 200 years. A series of grunts, followed by holograms full of scolding body language, perhaps?

Phone vs. Text vs. Email
Infographic source accreditedonlinecolleges and flickr user mrtindc; 5 Tips For Managing Intergenerational Communication