Unfortunate and inaccurate perceptions persist about levels of activity and engagement of mature workers (age 44+) in social media. Some seem to view mature workers as laggards and virtual Luddites. The opposite is true.
The fact is that mature workers including Boomers are among the most engaged participants in the social media experience. A sampling of recent studies by Deloitte, Pew and Forrester; as well as articles in publications such as USA Today found that:
Facebook usage by this cohort grew by more than 100% from 2008 to 2009.
Twitter use by this demographic increased over 700% over the same period.
Mature workers are energetic members of professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Here they often add applications to upgrade the value of their profiles by integrating their blog posts, slide shows and the like. They also join LinkedIn Groups and even start their own.
What accounts for this tremendous growth in engagement via social media among members of the mature workforce? The key drivers are both professional and personal in nature.
At a professional level, mature workers recognize that new world of work with its emphasis on collaboration through social networks demands that they demonstrate proficiency in the use of social media tools.
At a personal level, they are leveraging social media tools to stay connected with geographically dispersed relatives and friends.
There is obvious crossover between the skills needed to successfully use social media tools in both spheres. Personal use leads to professional use as mature workers quickly apply social media interactional skills to workplace collaboration.
Mature workers are among the most engaged users of social media. The impact of their engagement will stimulate workplace collaboration and organizational effectiveness.
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