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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Screenagers

Several months ago, Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders hosted a focus group of students (ages 16-24) and asked them: "What are your preferred methods of communication?" Here's what he learned.

Their top eight methods of communication are:
1. Text messaging
2. Internet (i.e. MySpace or Facebook)
3. iPods and Podcasts
4. Instant messaging
5. Cell phone
6. DVD / CD
7. Books
8. Email

Summarizing his takeaways,

1. He noted email was last and that one teen called email, "How you communicate with old people."
2. With one exception, this list moves from more personal to less.
3. These teens prefer a screen over face to face in 6 of the 8.

My takeaways,

1. Teens want to communicate on their own terms.
2. They are intensely relational.
3. The way they communicate will continue to change.

If we want to influence and lead young people, we need to learn how to communicate with them.

Action items:

1. Learn to text your kids or grand kids.
2. Go the extra mile to make your correspondence more personal.
3. Give instead of take whenever possible.