Millennials are the experts at merging online and offline

We are the tech- savvy generation. We are renowned for our digital prowess and our native multiple device use. We have coined phrases such as: “There’s an app for that” and “Just google it!” So, it’s no wonder that a recent USA Today article seemed fascinated that millennials actually prefer face-to-face interaction, working in the office as opposed to remotely, and in-person collaboration.

The research behind the article has 3 main findings:

1. Stereotypes don’t always apply

2. It’s not the device that matters – it’s the app

3. Millennials are hungry for training and development

If we look at point 1 in particular, it becomes clear that there are misconceptions about this generation.

The idea that the millennial generation are the ultimate face-to-screen junkies is outdated. Instead millennials have developed the power to manage their digital and real personas effectively.

For example, this  generation are not using social media less per se, but they are taking the social in it more literally. Social media is just one medium through which we can communicate with others. Instead of using social networking sites individually, millennials are using social collaboratively.

“Online and offline me!” Fellow millennial and IBMer @ImogenQuigley shows how her digital and non-digital self are consistently merged

In fact, millennials are even starting to merge their online and offline personalities. This is a really important quality – and not many can do this as seamlessly and naturally as millennials do. Imogen (pictured) is a fellow IBMer and a passionate social media advocate. The image encapsulates the idea that her in-person self is no different to her digital self – it’s just an alternative medium.

I recently attended the Social Media in Graduate Recruitment Conference (where the campus tour won best use of mobile and twitter and best overall graduate recruitment campaign!). One of the key themes throughout the day was that the target audience for graduate recruitment (millennials) are more likely to trust peers than brands. Thus, they are relying on that human affirmation of credibility before purchasing a product or applying to a graduate scheme.

Again, this highlights the ability of millennials to link their online world with offline qualities such as asking someone’s advice or opinion. It is this quality that makes millennials a highly influential and powerful group of consumers.


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