Even without formal research, it’s obvious there’s a generation gap when it comes to social media knowledge. Live Your Message
did that research anyway and quantified it.
The upshot? A quarter of people 55 and older said they believe hashtags should be taught in school, while only 15 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds agreed.
Also, a quarter of those 55 and over didn’t know what a hashtag is, but only about one in six under age 55 were unfamiliar.
C’mon, Baby Boomers—catch up already!
Live Your Message founder Marisa Murgatroyd said that although hashtags are often mentioned on TV, Baby Boomers don’t really understand them—hence the desire for instruction on the topic.
“Using hashtags requires education,” she said. “Companies who market to Boomers and use hashtags (and other forms of social media grammar and punctuation) in their marketing should consider educating their market on what these symbols mean.”
The Google Survey of 1,000 respondents also found that people who live in rural areas and make less than $75,000 per year are less likely to know what a hashtag is.
[RELATED: Ragan's new distance-learning site houses the most comprehensive video training library for corporate communicators.]
Obviously, the results aren’t alarming, but they does raise an interesting question—should social media be taught in school? If so, at what point?
And should they call the new discipline “social studies”?