The Voice of Generation Z: Type This, Not That
This weekend my Mom and I were reminiscing about different things my family has posted on Facebook, and how many fun adventures we have had throughout the past couple of years. Facebook has been an incredibly useful tool to keep in touch with the family members we don’t see all the time, even though it’s becoming less and less popular (shh, don’t tell my mom). In the middle of the conversation, my Mom interrupted me and asked, “I saw someone post a 'TBH', what does that mean?” And that’s when it occurred to me that not everyone grew up in a technology-centered generation.
As a member of Generation Z, I have identified a few needs that aren’t being met. Topping that list is an explanation of acronyms commonly found on social media for some of the ‘more experienced’ generations *wink wink*. While you might have figured out that LOL means laughing out loud, here are a few that are a little less intuitive.
TBH = To Be Honest
Example: TBH I’m not really a fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. (What a shocker, right?)
SMH = Shaking My Head
Example: Mom, what does TBH mean? Me: SMH. This is usually accompanied by an eye-rolling emoji to adequately express the level of sass you are trying to convey.
TBT = Throwback Thursday
You use this term when you post an old picture on a Thursday. TBT gives you a great excuse to post old ugly pictures of your friends that you will never let them live down.
MCM/WCW = Man Crush Monday, Woman Crush Wednesday
Example: Zac Efron will forever be my #MCM. (Don’t forget, these can only be posted on their respective days. You can’t post a MCM on a Friday; that’s not how it works.)
I also think that it’s time to reinforce that you can’t put a space between a hash tag and your phrase. Example: # TBH today is going by incredibly slow. That’s incorrect. This is important because if you use your hash tag incorrectly, it loses its value.
Also, you don’t want to use a million hash tags on a post. It’s annoying. Example: Dutch Bros. is way better than Starbucks #getonmylevel #COFFEE #beans #beforeschool #everyday #yum #pumpkinspice #icedcoffee #isbetter #thanhotcoffee. I’m begging you, please don’t be this person. In general you want to use two at the most, unless you are on Instagram and you can hide them.
Something that is also important to understand is that not all social media platforms are the same, nor are they created equal.
Facebook is best used for being the landing page for a business, and to communicate large amounts of information.
Twitter can only accommodate 140 characters per tweet, so you have to keep it short and sweet. Twitter is also the best place to use hash tags because they were created to make it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation.
Instagram is the best place to post pictures. Period.
Whether you’re using social media to market your business, keep your family updated, or you simply enjoy posting selfies, it’s important to remember the power that social media has, and that there are always new things to learn.
Carly Sapp is a Marketing Intern at Avenue 25 Advertising, a Phoenix web design studio, advertising agency, graphic design studio and all around great team of business and creative professionals, as well as a proud member of Gen Z.