Generation gap

Was talking with a group of 20-something’s the other day, talking about the best way to reach and audience that they are unfamiliar with.

In order to generate discussion, I asked a member of the group to come up with someone who is “old.” That person thought about it, then answered, “I don’t know … I’d say about 50.”

Then I asked the whole group to come up with the characteristics that they know about this group. Here’s the list.

Fifty-year-olds are:

  • Busy
  • Content with their lives
  • Stubborn
  • Not modernized
  • Computer illiterate
  • Sophisticated
  • Old fashioned
  • Overweight
  • Knowledgeable
  • They watch shows like “Jeopardy”
  • They read
  • They are up-to-date in terms of news and current events
  • They do crossword puzzles
  • They read the newspaper
  • If they listen to the radio, it’s typically AM talk

Interesting? I think so. The dichotomy of a 50-year-old being both sophisticated AND not modernized is interesting. It seems to imply that being modern means you are UN-sophisticated. “Sophisticated” is also “old fashioned,” it seems.

Another interesting thing that came up in the discussion is that most of the 20-something’s know a 50-year-old who defies the list … but these 50-year-olds defy the norm instead of reflect the norm.

As you read over the list, what parts stand out to you? What does the list say about the 20-somethings who created it?


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