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Are Baby Boomers suffering from FOMO?

A new Culture Vulture trends report from Mindshare suggests that baby boomers are starting to become more like millennials. Now hold on, hear us out before saying anything!

Because baby boomers themselves would agree.

Within the baby boomer generation, we see a greater and growing interest in technology, e-commerce, and the gig economy.

Millennials are no longer the only masters of the online world. But they can keep their dance moves, am I right?

Baby boomers have set their sights on new technologies, making fierce competitors with their career experiences, business savvy, and disposable income.

In fact, baby boomers have 70% more disposable income than their millennial children. So businesses are starting to listen!

So what's behind this shift?

Today, we want to explore whether or not baby boomers have FOMO.

Ask a millennial what that means if you don't know. None nearby? Fine...FOMO means "fear of missing out."

Let's explore this!

 

FOMO: A Changing Mindset

The American Dream has changed. The Dream is no longer just about going to college and getting a stable job.

Research shows that mainly first-generation immigrants tend to hold onto this traditional American dream and pursue it. Children of immigrants are more likely to obtain a college degree than non-immigrants.

Many Americans (second generation or later) now seek satisfaction and opportunities for self-development throughout their lives. The freedom to pursue your personal passions is also highly valued.

 

Employers Are Changing Too

The traditional corporate environment has started to experiment. Employees increasingly seek flexibility, whether it's to spend more time with family, travel, or attend to personal development.

Amazon and Netflix are just two of the companies who have responded to their employees' desire for a more flexible work culture.

For instance, Amazon has tested 30 hour work weeks, in which employees receive 75 percent of their salaries and retain full benefits.

Netflix discourages long hours and instead focuses on results. Employees who work for long shifts but produce average results may even be let go.

Ouch!

Companies are responding not only to what employees want, but what research suggests may be more productive. The idea that flexible hours are conducive to greater productivity and creativity is not an innovative observation.

 

Brave, New, Technological World

According to the Culture Vulture trends report, there's a stark contrast between personal and national satisfaction. Their survey revealed that 85% of Americans are personally satisfied with life, but only 29% are satisfied with the current direction of the U.S. as a whole.

People now seem to feel that technology giants control everything. These companies hold massive percentages of the country's wealth. Giants like Apple and Microsoft seem untouchable.

Online interactions can accomplish almost everything. They can instigate change in all areas of life, from business to entertainment to family time.

New technologies like live streaming also give people far greater exposure to the world than ever before. This exposure has perhaps unintentionally taken baby boomers down a path to becoming more and more fluent in technology.

Fear of missing out? Or, legitimate interest in emerging technologies?

 

Too Much, Too Soon?

Are these technological advances becoming too much? Not by a long shot, it seems.

Despite intimidating rapid changes and developments in the technological world, baby boomers are becoming more comfortable with changes.

Through A.I. and machine learning platforms, companies know more about our personal habits than ever. Targeted ads follow us around the Internet, using browser history and data purchased from social media sites.

The amount of information companies gather can be frightening. But companies are also learning what creates consumer confidence. Technology giants have been able to adapt to gain the people's trust.

This includes that of baby boomers, who are adopting new technologies en mass such as social media and the sharing economy.

In fact, baby boomers share the most content on Facebook over any other age group. Take that millennials!

 

FOMO? Hardly!

Baby boomers are comfortable with shifts in technology as long as they trust the brand. Some brands have earned their users' trust by responding directly to their concerns.

One step companies have taken is to provide users more privacy in this brave new Internet world.

Twitter and Instagram now allow users to delete comments or followers, giving the user more control over their online presence.

Further, the growing sharing economy, of which millions of boomers are participating, is premised on the concept of trust through ratings and reviews.

 

Taking to Technology for Work

Baby boomers have ventured into the sharing economy in surprising numbers. An increasingly large percentage of these gig workers, especially with WeGoLook, are baby boomers and retirees.

In fact, according to JP Morgan Chase, 1% of those over the age of 65 currently work in the sharing economy. That's a huge number!

Their expertise hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

Most people think of the average freelancer as a relatively inexperienced millennial who hasn't picked a career path. Baby Boomers add a much-needed balance to this worker population.

Specialized gig workers, often retirees who have worked in industry for several years, can now disrupt the traditional approach. The big industries' way of doing things is no longer the only way.

The automotive, banking, and insurance industries, in particular, are challenging industries to crack. But the influx of experienced gig workers is changing that. But that's a story for another day.

Simply put, baby boomers have taken on the technological revolution by storm, out of choice, rather than necessity.

FOMO? No way, baby boomers are killing it...gangnam style.