Ageism in Social Media: Should Social Media Managers Be Under the Age of 25?
By: Chelsea Burcz

Leandra Medine
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Last week, Cathryn Sloane of the University of Iowa published an article that insisted that every social media manager should be under the age of 25. On the surface, it may seem that social media is a “kid” thing — but if you look more deeply into the game changers in this industry, it’s apparent that it’s an older generation that really understands the power of marketing through a social media technique.

 

The thing is, Sloane isn’t the first person to believe this notion or talk about it publicly for that matter. In fact, Daniel Saynt was quoted saying in an interview with Signature9 a year ago:

S9: For bloggers who function more as editors or writers, do you think we’ll see more brands looking to blogrolls for long term hires and the people who coordinate campaigns?

Saynt: Yes. Yes I Do.

Bloggers are the next generation of fashion. We are growing in revenue and gaining more experience. We’re connected to the industry and anyone above the age of 30 listens to us because they have no fucking clue what they are doing online.

So, is it true that social media “gurus” need to be in their twenties? Not even close.

Two days after Sloane’s piece was posted, a rebuttal was written by 47-year-old Mark Story, who works in social media for a government agency, which included this point,

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“First, you confused familiarity with using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter with the ability to turn that into offering actionable, solid communications advice for internal or external clients. There is a BIG difference between posting Facebook Timeline updates and telling General Motors what to do with their own social media presence in the midst of a crisis… Moreover, you will have to explain and sell social media wherever you go, and that means having enough savvy to turn your knowledge of the tool into a strategy and set of tactics that resonates for someone higher-up than you. And then make it work not for 25 year-olds, but for whomever the target market of your employer is.”

Story’s got a point — think about some of the most powerful “social media experts” that we’ve had on IFB, including Peter Davis and Steven Rojas, who are both over the age of thirty. Even more, what about 37-year-old social media queen DKNY PR girl? Or 30-year-old OscarPRGirl?

 

IN FACT — if you take a look at this study done by Technorati in 2011 about the age bloggers, it states,”We started with a basic inquiry about the identity of the respondents. Roughly three fifths are male, a proportion that holds true over all blogger types. Not surprisingly, a majority of bloggers are in the 25-44 age range – but a third are over 44.” Boom.So maybe social media isn’t an age thing, maybe it’s about knowing the brand you are portraying and how to voice that effectively in 140 characters. What do you think?

 

 

[Image credit: Mikaela from Framboise Fashion, Leandra Medine, Shutterstock]

 

Comments

  1. Jade says:

    When I first read the title my first thought was “oh noooo!” Because social media is the area I want to get into….and I’m 27!! But it’s so great to hear that the majority are my age and older *phew*

  2. Judy says:

    I have rather strong feelings and have given a lot of thought to this topic, the prevalence of discrimination against older bloggers, particularly females. This occurred after purchasing a book about bloggers around the world and finding no one in my age group. I am between 45 and 60 (not ready for Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style), which places me in what I consider an elite group. I work in a retail environment and though I am one of the older sales associates, I was voted by staff and peers (most of them 25 y/o) as the most representative of the store’s style (target: 25-45 y/o). Amazing! I admit to some IT struggles yet I have managed to post regularly to sites on blogspot, Polyvore, twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, lyst and Facebook. I am a member of IFB and will be attending the conference in September. I recommend that IFB consider a panel or workshop on this topic so we can demonstrate that we have much to contribute to the world of fashion and style.

    • I agree with Judy. I am 39 and I started my blog last year. When I launched my blog I had “for 30-somethings” in my tagline. But the more blogging literature I read, the more I was convinced that I would hurt my chances of achieving any blog success by admitting my age. Like Judy, I would love to see a panel or breakout event, or room designated for or even IFB website group that focuses on those of us who are over 30. I love looking at the 20-something bloggers, but I can’t dress like that now.

  3. Heather says:

    One day Cathryn Sloan of the university of Iowa will turn 26. I guess she’ll have to leave her fabulous job in social media and do something that doesn’t require computers because when you get older all that stuff gets really complicated and you can’t do it anymore, right?

    I am so bored of being told can’t do this or that because of my age.

  4. Avatar of Chloe
    Chloe says:

    I don’t agree. I think social media managers need certain skills, and it’s often younger people that have those skills, but who’s to say there aren’t tech-illiterate 20-year-olds and social media savvy 50-year-olds?

    It’s a big generalization to make. Also, never disregard the important of experience and strong writing skills. (btw, I’m 19 and work in social media…so not all us young people think that way)

  5. Ana says:

    Ugh.
    Articles like that add to the general society ageism. They don’t look at people as persons, their success dependent on, well, their different abilities, but just as numbers.

    I’m turning 26 later this year and I should already feel like old meat, not to mention someone older?

    One of the best bloggers I know turned 52 this year.

    * * *
    On the other end of the spectrum is this: Why Twentysomethings Love Rookie – not the article itself, the comments sections – it’s almost like YouTube there.

    Yeah, I always check the site author’s birth certificate before reading.
    If it’s even just a year over or under me, it must be stupid. [/snark]

  6. Raquel says:

    I just started my blog a couple of months ago and in 1 month I’ll turn 27… I think the reason I just started the blog now and not before is because I’m more mature, I just don’t follow the trends because someone says so. I’m more aware of my body and my taste and this is actually the advantage of being more than 25. I’m not searching for any brands to make campaigns with myself, in fact I blog because I like to do it, I like to share my looks, my opinions and findings with my friends and audience (even if it’s [still] a small one) because I believe my voice can be useful. And I feel the same about the bloggers I admire and the blogs I follow. I’m not trying to copy 19 year old girl’s style… c’mon…

  7. Sharon says:

    When I first read the title I thought, “What kind of b*llsh*t is this.” But, since I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, I went and read the article. By the end of the second paragraph I was over reading it and found myself enjoying the comments instead.
    I was going to leave a long comment about this but, whatev. I am over it.
    I will say that Heather’s comment cracked me up.
    May Cathryn Sloan find Neverland become friends with Tinkerbell and Peterpan and always remain under 25.

  8. Corleen says:

    I’m 41 and am just starting my blog – the inagural Hello World post just went up. I’ve reinvented myself and my career several times – from retail fashion to tech and now hopefully a blend of the two. To suggest that we cannot be good at something because we’re no longer in our twenties is just ridiculous.

  9. Daniel Saynt says:

    It’s not an issue of ageism, it’s an issue of knowledge gained through experience, and I feel few would argue with Malcolm Gladwell with that.

    What we’re experiencing in the age of Social Media is a perfect case study for the principal of Outliers, which states that genius isn’t inherent, but gained through an estimated 10,000 hours of experience, the amount of time needed to foster an education base equal to outliers such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg.

    Unfortunately, most people in their 30′s haven’t grown up with social media as a daily part of their lives and do not have the skill set to succeed in the same way that someone who is younger has. This won’t always be true, as social media becomes a more regular part of peoples lives, but it’s a matter of time that will make it more evident, eventually persons over 30 will perform better than those younger in this field, but right now, the younger you are, the more likely you’ve grown up with social media rather than choosing to learn it in order to remain relevant and maintain the necessary skill sets needed to keep your job.

    Few would argue that Zuckerburg’s years of hacking through Middle School gave him the 10,000 hours lead he needed to be considered a genius by the time he was a 19 year old in college, or that Susan Gregg Koger’s years on eBay as a high school student didn’t give her the 10,000 hours needed to build a massively successful e-commerce site in ModCloth.Com.

    Time = success and people under 30 have had more time in social media.

    Not ageist. Just fact.

    People above the age of 30, weren’t in high school when Facebook became available to the masses, most haven’t fully embraced the all the content sharing apps like Pose, Instagram or Twitter, they haven’t experienced the effects of trusting time and efforts to failed networks like MySpace, and while there are some exceptions like the DKNYPR girl, many of the people you speak to above the age of 30 have little knowledge of what’s really happening on the web.

    Multi-billion dollar valuation on Facebook. Dumb-founded.

    Billion dollars for Instagram. No-fucking idea why.

    When you talk valuations to these people or why these networks are changing the industry or why their jobs will become completely different in the next 5 years, many refuse to accept the change.

    It’s the nature of age.

    The older you are, the less likely you are to accept change, the longer it takes you to embrace it, the faster you become obsolete or replaceable.

    It’s unfortunate, but true.

    There will always be exceptions, older individuals who embrace social, but considering there are only a handful of brands out of the thousands who actually succeed, my belief is that these brands may succeed more if they trusted in a younger voice.

    My belief is purely based on the principles taught in Outliers and my experiences with people who stupidly adhere to antiquated trains of thought which believe all experience, even ones not specific to social media, are enough to equate an intelligent marketer. If you’re stupid, feel free to disagree.

    Older people will always take offense when they are feeling threatened by younger, smarter, and now, higher paid people entering the work force they thought they dominated when magazine ads where the only way to reach a customer.

    They shouldn’t.

    It’s just the dawn of a new Revolution.

    Industrial – Atomic – Jet – Space – Information – Social…

    We’re headed into a brave frontier and those smart enough to embrace early are at an advantage. Those people just so happen to be under 30 years old…

    Would love to discuss this more at your upcoming Conference, Jennine. Would be great to sit with someone over 30 who’s bucked the trend and managed to remained relevant.

    Saynt

    • Jennine says:

      Hi there,

      While I agree with Malcolm Gladwell’s principles of success (the 10,000 hour rule), I don’t think it could possibly be applied by the under 30/over 30 argument.

      Because you see, communication and community building with computer technology (ie Social Media) has existed much longer than Myspace. Social media as we know it may have existed since the turn of the century, but the foundations of it, ie, learning how to start a conversation online started with chatrooms and forums which existed in the 1990′s. So with your argument, the 10,000 hour rule can well apply to people old enough to have children in their 20′s much less just the 20-somethings.

      Also, “growing up with computers” isn’t just for the under 25 set. I am 37. My family has been working in technology and with computers since the 1950′s (both my parents and my grandfathers worked in Silicon Valley) I have always been around technology. And yes, even the old lady I am… grew up with it. I was on Prodigy, the precursor to the Internet, in the late 80′s, and we always had a computer in the house, even when I was very young.

      As for older people not being open to learning new things, that mentality is antiquated. Being 45 today is not the same as it was twenty years ago. Everyone in the workforce today is well aware that there is no job security and you have to remain teachable to survive. There are also other trends like the kiddult phenomenon which also adds to the blurring of generational gaps. People aren’t “growing up” like they used to.

      Another thing about older people not adapting… my grandfather when he passed away this year at the age of 88 had a facebook account, a linkedin, and maintained a blog.

      Finally, you’re confusing using social media with professionally marketing with social media. I may have been online since the late 80′s but I would never call myself a professional until at least the late 00′s, because I was just tinkering around. Whenever I have to hire someone, I look for people who understand strategy and execution. However, a good majority of people who apply for jobs in social media think they are qualified if they have a twitter account. A lot of these college kids take a class in social media and think they know, when they have never practiced much less executed. The girl who wrote the initial article had 100 followers on Twitter. I wouldn’t hire that girl as an intern, much less a community manager.

      There is a difference between doing something for fun and being a professional. Its hard work to build a community, to build traffic, for some who succeed it’s dumb luck. Anyone can be lucky once, but to be a professional you need to know how to repeat your success and do better the next time. Having these skills require experience, and I’m afraid that more often than not, under 25′s don’t have this type of experience. Hence they have a lot more hours to log in to reach 10,000.

      PS Chelsea Burcz wrote this article, who by chance happens to be in her early 20′s.

  10. Daniel Saynt says:

    Also, on the Technoratti stats, that’s not based off of fashion bloggers, that’s all bloggers.

    Men dominate because they started in blogging first with tech blogs. Older men, cause they started blogging nearly 12 years ago, when they were in their 20′s. Now they are in their 30s and 40s, which is why the age is skewed to be older.

    It’s an inaccurate fact used to justify an uneducated reaction. Boom.

    Hope you don’t feel that comment is sexist.

    • Kelsi says:

      Daniel, how old do you think 30 is?

      I’m almost 30. Had I been at an Ivy League school and not educated in the UK – I would have had the opportunity to be a Facebook early adopter. There would be very few social media marketers under the age of 25 who can say that. I’ve been using various social media tools since I was first allowed access to the internet. Social media doesn’t begin and end with Facebook and Twitter and I’ve been an early adopter on *almost* every platform (I even have some “OG” badges to prove it ;)

      Regardless, this idea that those under the age of 25 didn’t adopt social media right away is profoundly wrong. I teach social media marketing at FIDM here in Los Angeles. 10% of my class of 20 year old MARKETING MAJORS – did not have a Facebook when we started the class, a whopping 90% didn’t have a Twitter.

      Let alone know how to use it properly and apply it properly.

      And yet almost 30 me has been on Twitter since early 2008 and has tweeted almost 40,000 times.

      And lets remember – proficiency in social media is one thing. If you’re proud of the fact that you (and this is the general “you”) know how to operate a Facebook account and all it’s facets – I’m happy for you, well done for that landmark achievement, you are both proficient in reading, typing and clicking. But that’s the very basics – in fact in my ten week semester on social media I spend a whopping 15 minutes on this whole subject.

      Marketer is the far more important word. And their aren’t many under 25′s who know how apply these marketing tools correctly to the marketing world. That’s like gaining access to Cision and deciding you’re a publicist. They’re all just marketing tools. And marketers have been using tools to do their jobs since there were products to market.

      • Daniel Saynt says:

        Kelsi, It’s not about age. It’s about experience. You can’t argue that people above 30 have had an equal amount of experience to social media as say someone who is 20 or 25. The simple nature that there are people who have grown up with social media and people who had to learn it after careers forced them to learn it, is the basis for my argument. As for your argument on the percentage who engaged through Facebook and Twitter in your class, the argument only makes sense if you’re dealing with three controlled groups. To prove your point, you’d have to take a group of equal 20 year olds, 30 year olds, and 40 year olds and poll which have Twitter and Facebook. I can almost guarantee those older will be less likely to have accounts. Sidenote, if you do choose in the future to apply scientific method to your argument, please let me know the results as I’d be more than willing to praise you for having the insight to have something more than “it happened to me once before” to prove your point. Your singular case example of a small group of 20 year olds, isn’t really justification for your argument. I agree with you on the term Marketer. That’s a much broader term, but here we’re talking about Social Media Managers, not CMOs or SVP’s of Communications. We’re talking about individuals who’s sole purpose is to manage social media accounts with updated content on a daily/hourly basis. These people tend to be people who are familiar with the amount of updates required to do this job successfully, and these people tend to be younger, since they’ve been active at this type of behavior longer than those who are older. These people also tend to learn faster and grow on new networks quicker, as they aren’t as afraid of social media as people who are older and don’t feel they can trust the medium as much. It’s the nature of when they were born and the time they’ve had to learn the networks, more so than the age. Factor in that many of these people are also attending school in the age of information and the knowledge base available to them is greater than any time in history, plus they’re entering a work-force looking for inexpensive alternatives to traditional marketing, and you’ve got the perfect opportunity for the youth to excel at a quicker rate and take newly formed positions ideal for their skill set. I think we should be happy that our youth have an opportunity to excel in a newly created field rather than vilify those who are commenting on the zeitgeist. Yes, older people can learn social and yes, they can excel at it, but if you’re speaking about the majority, many of the social media managers are younger and excelling beyond their older counterparts. It’s a brave new world, you can either evolve or get left behind. Saynt

        • Kelsi says:

          I’m going to agree with you on a singular notion – and that is, that the person running the account on a day to day basis *can* not *should* be under 25.

          But our reasoning is entirely different. The skills required for day to day operation of a social media account *are* very limited and time consuming. I employ others, some under the age of 25, some over the age of 25 – to manage this daily. This is because it’s an entry level position, wherein you don’t necessarily need extensive experience and can pay at a lower rate.

          However, strategy, management and oversight will always come back to me. Being the one with years of experience. The only reason someone my age or older would not take a simple position like this, is because they’re overqualified.

          The fact is, the employment market you’re describing existed maybe five years ago. When, for all intents and purposes, *some* companies hadn’t quite worked out where in the chain “social media manager” belonged and it was being left to recent grads and interns. This proved a mistake, and at times a costly one.

          In the past year I have turned down several positions offering salaries in excess of $75K. Companies understand that if they want the job done properly they need to hire an expert. An actual expert, not someone who know’s how to operate Twitter. But someone who can create insightful and engaging campaigns, someone who is able to provide results and analytics that back up their results – and someone who can manage a team of people who can implement the strategy created by the experienced individual.

          This is why I’m turning away work and recent graduates are one of the most unemployed sectors in the US.

          The fundamental flaw with your argument, as others have addressed, is that people 30 and older have *chosen* to embrace social media. This isn’t something that has been forced on them. They’ve adopted it willingly and enthusiastically and have been along for the ride often longer and are adopting earlier. Unlike my students – which are more than a small subset and precisely the demographic we’re specifically referring to in this conversation (and that’s forty students, four semesters a year)

          “Older folks” are evolving. Willingly and regularly. The one’s that aren’t are the exception to the rule, and not the other way around.

          Sidenote, if you do choose in the future to apply scientific method to your argument, please let me know the results as I’d be more than willing to praise you for having the insight to have something more than “it happened to me once before” to prove *your* point.

        • Kelsi says:

          AND. Just to reiterate.

          Why?

          “It’s not about age. It’s about experience. You can’t argue that people above 30 have had an equal amount of experience to social media as say someone who is 20 or 25.”

          Was there a maximum age requirement on all social media platforms that I’m unaware of? After all I began using Twitter in early 2008, and just barely scraped in under 25. Though that can’t be right….as I’ve been engaging with people over 30 on Twitter since *I* joined, that had been on there longer than I had…. interesting.

    • Kelsi says:

      Also. If you truly believe magazine ads (or any ads) and social media are the only tools available to marketers you are hugely mistaken.

    • Cameron says:

      Monsieur Saynt,

      I will be 34 in late September, so yes, Facebook, Twitter et al were not around back when I was in high school…

      But Bolt was.

      Among the first social networking sites (circa 1996; I came in 1998), it was a thing ahead of its time, and I was there for the ride. In fact, they had a featured group of bloggers (back when the term “weblog” didn’t exist yet), and I was among those selected; being transgender then was a very, very big deal, to say the least.

      I also had a Friendster account (founded in 2002) for a while, followed by MySpace, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook (again), Twitter (again), Tumblr (again) and so on and so forth.

      tl;dr: Quite a few of us “old social media illiterates” probably aren’t so much as you first claim.

      But what I take issue with, more than anything else, is the condescending tone you’ve taken toward IFB in general, and Mme Jacob specifically.

      To quote:

      “My belief is purely based on the principles taught in Outliers and my experiences with people who stupidly adhere to antiquated trains of thought which believe all experience, even ones not specific to social media, are enough to equate an intelligent marketer. If you’re stupid, feel free to disagree.”

      Calling Mme Jacob “stupid” for disagreeing with your points — such as the one above — ain’t gonna help you gain an audience with her, pal.

      Nor will this:

      “Would love to discuss this more at your upcoming Conference, Jennine. Would be great to sit with someone over 30 who’s bucked the trend and managed to remained relevant.”

      Why don’t you just physically slap her in the face while you’re at it? Do you even realize how much of a conceited dick you sound in that statement above?

      And finally, to quote your follow-up in full:

      “Also, on the Technoratti stats, that’s not based off of fashion bloggers, that’s all bloggers.

      “Men dominate because they started in blogging first with tech blogs. Older men, cause they started blogging nearly 12 years ago, when they were in their 20′s. Now they are in their 30s and 40s, which is why the age is skewed to be older.
      It’s an inaccurate fact used to justify an uneducated reaction. Boom.

      “Hope you don’t feel that comment is sexist.”

      Your business card is nothing compared to Paul Allen’s, it would appear M Bateman.

      tl;dr: If you want our respect for your views (and an audience granted with Mme Jacob), then «come correct» instead of coming off like a creation of Bret Easton Ellis’s fevered dreams. M Saynt.

      • Based on his comments, and the reactions by Kelsi and Cameron, I sure hope Daniel plans on resigning from social media the day before he turns 30, lest he becomes outdated, uneducated, and irrelevant overnight.

  11. Amy says:

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with an employee of a hugely popular denim brand here in Los Angeles. She said the owner would hire girls he met at clubs as design assistants because he liked their style. Unfortunately, having a cool sense of style did not translate into being able to design a cool pair of jeans, effectively communicate their ideas, or understand the process that goes into making a pair of jeans…so there was a constant amount of turnover in the design room. Whether you are 19 or 60, you can’t just have the minimum competencies to KEEP your job, you have to produce results. Social media is more than just knowing how to tweet or update a status. I mean, just look at Celeb Boutique who employed someone with a minimum competency to capitalize on trending topics: @celebboutique: #Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress ;) And just went through a PR nightmare when said minimally competent person didn’t check to see why it was trending. Hiring someone based on minimum competencies might get them in the door, but given my jeans company example, will they stay there?

  12. @Kelsi LIKE!!!!! By the way my first foray into Social Media was Hi5 and I was in my early 30′s when I started on that networ. Take that Daniel!

    • Kelsi says:

      LOL Natasha… right? Like social media began with MySpace…. *rolls eyes*

    • Daniel Saynt says:

      Natasha & Kelsi, Used MySpace solely as an example cause it was the first social network fashion brands paid attention to through ad investments. A handful of brands invested in pages only to discover that the investment was lost when they were forced to move to another network, Facebook. I didn’t state it was the first network, as there were many others before it, many of which I personally was on including Hi5, Friendster, LiveJournal and Blogger. MySpace was just an example of a failure that taught many who experienced it the importance of not trusting in one single platform completely. It’s what led to multi-platform disciplines which lead to the creation of effective marketing campaigns for brands like Kate Spade, DKNY and Burberry. Many people never gained this experience as they were never on MySpace. Also, MySpace allowed many to learn basics of HTML which eventually led to the blogging boom we’re currently experiencing. Other networks like Hi5 or Friendster didn’t allow for customization which prevented those on there to learn the basic skills needed for creating webpages/blogs today. Basically, we all know there were other networks, but those “born-of” MySpace actually have better inherent skill sets than those who weren’t. Again, not hating on age, just the year you were born and the experiences you were able to naturally gain based on that year. Saynt

      • Kelsi says:

        Daniel, I think you have a really bizarre concept of what it means to be over thirty. You don’t die off and become irrelevant – or move to the middle of the country no longer able to compete with city types and their fancy devices and programming such as oooh “Twitter” – what’s all that then?

  13. I’ve been looking for a job in social media management and find most of the time they’re looking for someone older with more experience. Many of the listings call for 5+ years marketing, advertising, etc. experience even if they weren’t managing social media the whole time. As a recent grad with an MA I have about 2-3 years experience and still am having a hard time finding work.

    I think you just have to peg your offerings and get your name out there. It can be done at any age! :)

  14. Katie Masters says:

    25-year-olds can barely wipe their own asses let alone be managers of multi-media. These tots are so addicted to social media that they cannot even put their phones away in my university classroom. If you cannot focus — even learn the fundamentals of communication in the classroom — then, no, you cannot manage anything, even your own self-centered Facebook page. I’m 28 years old — I was one of the first Facebook account holders with Zuckerberg’s inclusion of all universities to the site about seven years ago. Social media has been around since Cathryn Sloane was still in diapers. Sloan, honey, get off Facebook, and get a clue. No one ever has, or ever will, listen to a 25-year-old.

    • Daniel Saynt says:

      Hey Katie,

      Why so much hate towards 25 year olds?

      Here are some that people in the 25 year old range who might know how to “wipe their own asses” and might be listened to.

      Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
      Mark Zuckerburg
      Alexander Wang
      Pete Cashmore
      Daniel Fletcher
      Tavi Gevinson
      Kevin Systrom
      David Karp
      Chris Poole
      Evan Sharp

      Saynt

  15. Moon says:

    I am 29, about to turn 30 in 2 days. I have 2 kids. We started our fashion blog a year ago. Not only can I think like a 23 year old fashion blogger, I look much younger than my age too, much younger than some 23 year old fashion-posing bloggers. Age is just a number. :P Let’s just all be thankful that the world became smaller and cultures became more accessible through social media. It’s free and it freed a lot of us from the limited benefits of trimedia. Dropping words like that of Ms. Sloane’s is not social at all. While there are very successful people under 25, and there are more successful men and women above 25, it’d would always be how each one of them, of us, will touch the minds of the people we would like to reach out to, that will matter at the end of the day.

  16. Kimberly says:

    I love it when I see 30+ year olds defend their age against those younger. That is going to make good practice when you are in your 40′s and 50′s. I don’t care what your age is, if you don’t have decent work ethics and skills, you will still suck. If 25 year olds had their way, anyone over 50 would be put out to pasture. Good thing I know a ‘bit’ about technology so I could open the gate and get out!!!

  17. My generation (40+) has no trouble with using social media. My peers are actually quite technologically savvy – and we didn’t even grow up using computers or internet! Not only are we a fairly tech-oriented bunch but we can spell, write intelligently and use proper grammar as well – skills which seem to have fallen by the wayside with much of today’s youth. Sloane and Saynt will be eating their words as they grow older. They are both wrong in making such arrogant, blanket statements.

    • Daniel Saynt says:

      Congrats on spelling well.

      Damn kids and their loud music and slang words, right?

      Found the research that supported the statement I made 2 years ago: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57368586/dark-side-of-social-media-age-discrimination/

      I don’t make the rules, nor do I support any form of age discrimination. I feel the best candidate should be hired for the job, regardless of age.

      But if we’re talking about the hiring practices of the largest companies in social/tech, then you’ll find the ages skew near or below 30, with Facebook staff having a median age of 26.

      What I said then, and what I’m saying now is that if you were to base experience off of time spent on a platform, then those who are younger will tend to be more experienced than those who are older with social networks. It doesn’t mean all social media managers should be under 30, it just means that those under that age have had more time on social media sites, since these networks popped up at a time when they were able to experience them at the earliest stage, in middle school, in high school, in college, and not when a career or the need to remain relevant compelled them.

      Let’s say you were the hiring agent who had to make a decision between two candidates for a position in social media management.

      The first is a 25 year old female who has been active on social media since age 15. She has a blog, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, polyvore, youtube channel, and a following she’s built over the past ten years.

      The second is a 40 year old female who’s been active in marketing for 10 years. She doesn’t have a blog, but she is on facebook and twitter. She has the connections and experiences she’s gained from traditional marketing for a fashion brand.

      Who do you think makes the better candidate for a Social Media Manager?

      Do you think the young blogger or the older marketing exec has more experience in content creation, building a following, maintaining an audience and engaging a customer through social? A.K.A. the skills needed for the position of Social Media Manager.

      And yes, not every older person is an idiot in social. And yes, not every young person is a genius at social. I’m only stating that two years ago, when I made the statements used in this completely absurd article, most of the people above the age of 30 had little idea what to do in social media and they were hiring people younger than 30 for answers.

      That’s obviously changed, as have a lot of things, in the past two years.

      What I do still believe is that experience outside of a work environment should not be ignored and that hiring practices that require 10 years of experience in social media seem idiotic.

      I understand Sloane’s frustration, but I do not agree with her statement.

      Saynt

  18. Michelle says:

    This article is interesting and judging from the comments made, has really hit a nerve for some people.

    The truth is, age is just a number. There are 50 year-olds running successful social media groups while there are people in their 20′s with social media degrees still on welfare. Numbers from statistics mean nothing. We are people, not numbers. We make the rules and no amount of research will give you the full picture about what is truly going on in social media or the real word for that matter.

    Do your thing and do it damn well. And to hell with your age or anyone else’s.

  19. Avatar of Angela
    Angela says:

    Age is only a number. I’ve been working in social media/online publishing for about 2 years now and have found that the majority of the people who seem to really get it are younger, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some who are older that do too.

  20. Maggie says:

    I totally agree and very well say by Story. I think that the original article was coming from someone who doesn’t actual have any real experience working in social media on a profesional level. And this is coming from a social media manager of 1 year. I’m currently 24.

  21. Judging by the very long list of comments on this post on Agesim – We have something to offer !

  22. Avatar of Alexis Doyle
    Alexis Doyle says:

    Errr, unless I am mistaken, isn’t everyone getting older not younger?

  23. youpeopleareidiots says:

    I think this is dumb, ageist claptrap. Are you people effing kidding me? It’s blogging, it’s computers, it’s not rocket science. Is it harder than being an engineer or a physician? I don’t think so. Just because you “grew up with it” means NOTHING. It’s stll a SKILL and skills can be acquired at any age. The truth of the matter, everyone age 50 on down has “grown up” with computers and social media in some form. The idea that someone older than 25 can’t catch the hell on in an age of social media is RIDICULOUS, AGEIST BULLSH* Just. Please.

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