If you’re a baby boomer, chances are your grandkids are part of “Generation Z”. This is the generation born in the mid-1990s. They are now making their way into adulthood. There’s not been a greater generation gap since you were a teen in the 1960s.
Generation Z is the first generation baptised by immersion in technology.
Don’t confuse them with millennials. There are some real differences between these generations. And an extremely wide gap between boomers and gen Z. So much so, that if you don’t understand them, you might get the wrong impression. Or worse, think they don’t care.
Truth, is they have a completely different set of etiquettes. The first one you need to know is that they won’t leave you a voicemail. There’s a good chance that when you tried to leave them one, their box was full. Don’t be frustrated, they just don’t bother with it.
Why? Because they consider it a rude waste of their time if you leave them a voice mail.
According to Gawker these are when you should never leave a voicemail.
- You’re calling to tell me something time-sensitive or urgent. It will be at least 24 hours before I learn that you’ll “be at the grocery store for the next ten or so minutes if you need anything.”
Instead: Text your deal with the phrase “Call me!”
- You’re calling with important news—a birth, a death, a rebirth, a rising from the dead, etc. I want to hear that you gave birth to our child from you. Not from a Maury Povich. Not from a voicemail.
Instead: Text saying “Big news — call me!” or (if you have a lot of time and unlimited calling on your hands), call until I pick up. (Bonus: When I see I have 11 missed calls from you, I’ll realize something important has happened and get back to you right away.)
- You’re calling to tell me to call you back. I’ll be way more motivated to call you back if I see you’ve called and not left a voicemail. A voicemail tells me our information transaction is complete; you’ve delivered your message. A missed call tells me our information transaction is beginning.
Instead: Let your number show up in my missed calls list. Maybe follow-up with a “Just checking in; call me when you’re free to chat” text. If you’re more frantic, “CALL ME!!!!” works too.
Did you notice the common denominator here?
This is a texting generation. And for as much as you see them with their face in their phone, you might notice, their not talking on their phone as much. According to pew research, 63 percent of teens use text to communicate on a daily basis.