|Photo courtesy of Flickr user Japanexperterna.se|
The other day, I explained to a 60-year-old what it means to call someone or something "bae." I began by explaining that it started out as an acronym for "before anyone else" and has devolved into a pet name for any kind of significant other, with "other" not being confined to a living being (e.g. Netflix, the USA, the cute barista at Starbucks).
This isn't the first time I've been faced with this type of generational disconnect. Earlier this year I taught an older couple about the word ratchet. This is the same couple whose IBM computer, which has been gathering dust since it was given to them in 2005, is now in my possession so that I may teach them the sorcery that is the Internet.
Generation Y (Millennials) grew up with the Internet at its fingertips. While it isn't embedded in us quite like the new generation (Gen. Z), we are the first wave of adults – and journalists for that matter – who will create a world that has never not known technology. But until we say our final YOLO, we have to be aware of and cater to our audiences who may be less tech savvy than we are.
Here are some things to keep in mind writing for those who defeat the phrase "user-friendly" by shocking lengths, as well as some tips for writing to an audience with iPhones where hands used to be.