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Alicia Blain

Entries tagged with “AARP Bulletin”.

I love slang.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked keeping up with the latest lingo. Our daily conversations are usually rich in slang.  I think all Baby Boomers like slang because we grew up with such a rich selection of slang words & many of them have become part of our daily lexicon.

Well believe it or not, Gen Yers also have their own slang.  Actually, theirs is probably richer than ours because it contains a whole new language that they invented which is what they use for texting.  These are abbreviations of words that make it simpler to write when texting.  I think everyone who has been texting has used these code words because they are short & to the point.  Codes like LOL, LOTFL, B4, etc.

When I used to shadow my Gen Y staff, one of the things I enjoyed the  most was to hear them talk amongst themselves & utilize their slang.  At first, it was if they were speaking gibberish but with time, I got to understand it & know what the words meant.  The Millennial slang words often are derived from the world of Hip/Hop very  much like the way our slang came out of Jazz &  Motown. These are words invented in street corners that sound cool & go viral quickly.  Many of them stick & become part of our everyday language & cross all socio-economic groups.

As you can imagine, as new words are introduced & become part of our daily conversation, they get added to all the English dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary of English, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.  In the January/February issue of the AARP Bulletin, Betsy Towner highlights 50 of the latest slang additions in her Power of 50 series.  Although I have provided a link to the publication you may have to register to look through the magazine but the list is worth it.  The Power of 50 always appears on the last page of the magazine.

Here are some of the slang words that made it to the dictionary:

  1. Automagically.  I love that word.  My Gen Yers used to say that a lot at work when they were asked to do something without instructions on how to get it done.
  2. Chillax.  Another good one although by now it’s been around for a while.  Combination of slang word Chill plus Relax gets you Chillax.
  3. Frenemy. A friend who you fight with a lot.
  4. Tweet.  Self-explanatory by now.
  5. Pimp.  Think of the reality show “Pimp my Ride”.  It means to make something flashy or showy
  6. Staycation. This has become popular these last couple of years as the recession has made its dent on the economy.  You hear it mentioned a lot on radio stations.  It means taking a vacation & staying home.

These are my favorites but there are 44 more in the article.  Share the list with your Gen Yers & watch them roll their eyes & tell you they already know them. They’ll probably tell you the words are old & no longer cool.  But it’s a fun way to connect with them & let them showcase their lingo just like we did with ours when we were their age.

Happy Friday, everybody

I love to see examples of the generations working collaboratively and harmoniously side by side and I ran into a great story in this month’s AARP bulletin.  It was an article written by Susan Kreimer called ” Senior Dance Teams Score on NBA Courts“.

Did you know that there are senior dance squads performing at NBA games?  Seriously… Apparently for the past few years, retired members of the Veteran Generation (those over 65 years old) audition to be part of these senior dance squads with names like the “Orlando Magic Silver Stars” and the ”Phoenix Suns’ Golden Grannies”.  I love it!

The picture in the AARP bulletin (those of you with an AARP membership can log in & view the story online) is priceless.  It shows a young Millennial woman practicing dance moves along side a retired veteran called Fanny Militar.  Fanny was auditioning for the NJ Nets. Both of them looked like they were having a blast.

The article is a reminder that while each generation may seem unfamiliar, there are many things that we have in common.  Isn’t it better to focus on the commonalities instead of the conflicts?

Isn’t that a good lesson to put into play in corporate?  Let’s try focusing on commonalities instead of conflicts for a change.  We  might learn something from the NBA [ here I go with Sports again!!]

I came across an interesting article in the September edition of AARP Bulletin. The article was written by Cynthia Ramnarace and it was called “Smartphone NationIt had some great statistics on smartphone usage that surprised me.  The biggest surprise was that 50% of all Baby Boomers sleep with their cellphones within arm’s reach.  I wouldn’t have guessed it was that high.  I would have thought that we were so attached to it during the day that the last thing we want is to put it next to our nightstands at night.  I guess only half of us agree with me. 

Another interesting statistic from the Pew Research Center is how the IPhone has increased usage by turning the cellphones into what the reporter calls  “entertainment centers”.  I had never thought of cell phones or really smartphones in that light but I think it’s so true.  According to Pew in 2007, the year the IPhone made its debut, only 11% of people used a phone to access the Internet. By May of this year, that percentage  has gone up to 38%.  What percentage do you think it will be next May?

But the article really warns about our addiction to smartphones.  Ramnarace quotes Patricia Wallace, author of The Pychology of the Internet” who describes smartphones as a “pocket-size game of chance”.  The author compares it to a slot machine where you never know whether you will be rewarded or not when you pull the lever.  What a great description.  Everytime I hear my IPhone alert me of a call, a text, a voicemail or email, I have to fight the urge to pick up the phone and look at the message.  Most of the time, I’m disappointed because it wasn’t anything urgent and it made me get distracted from what I was doing.

I often hear many Baby Boomers criticize Millennials for their need to be constantly connected but truthfully, what about us?  Aren’t we doing the same thing with our smartphones?   Recently, I’ve forced myself to observe fellow Baby Boomers in  networking  events to see if they were overindulging their smartphones.  Over 70% of them took out their smartphones either while listening to a speaker, while engaging in conversation with a group of people or while standing off on their own.  That’s a lot of indulgence.  We talk about technology getting in the way of the Millennials’ ability to be in the moment but frankly, what about us?  We can apologize all we want for having to “take” this call, or respond ”quickly” to this email, or “answer” this text but we are engaging in the same multi-tasking activities that drive us crazy when we see it in the Millennials.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to criticize Millennials?  Maybe the quick pace of today’s workplace affects all of us but we just don’t see it as well in ourselves as we do in others? Maybe we should try to stop overindulging the smartphone and overindulge in connecting and interacting with others.  That’s always more rewarding.

The article has a quick quiz at the end to spot if you are hooked on your smartphone.  Take it and see if you need an intervention.  Chances are you will…