Digital Natives: Readying an Older Workforce for Digitally Fluent Younger Colleagues

Amber Johnson Innovation, Trends

Instagram provides users with filters to change
the appearance of their photos, giving an immediate
“wow” factor to casual shots.
Photo credit Invantory via Flickr. 

Last week Facebook bought Instagram, the photo editing software application, for a figure reported to be near $1 billion in cash and shares. I heard the news on NPR while driving, and I just about needed to pull over: that application is worth $1 billion?

Pause with me for a second to consider that Instagram was founded two years ago. Two. Years. Ago. The founders are 25 and 27 (for more on the short history of Instagram, see Inc. magazine’s coverage here); the application caught on so quickly that 30% of their job in the first weeks of Instagram’s release was just keeping the servers working. And the CEO of the purchasing company, Facebook: he’s 28.

I’m only 10 years older than the founders of Instagram and Facebook, but we’re from an entirely different generation. I got my first email account in college: Zuckerberg is making every effort to render email useless.

So how does an older workforce (i.e. anyone over the age of 30) compete with the technopoly of the future? Make friends with Digital Natives.

Not sure where to start? You might want to check out this video from technology and business forecaster Bob Johansen of the Institute of the Future:

Understanding Digital Natives


Amber Johnson is the Center for Values-Driven Leadership‘s corporate relations and social media advisor. She is a non-profit and small business communications professional. In addition to blogging about business for the CVDL, Amber writes about other topics on her personal blog

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