If You Are 45+, Consider Yourself Old

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Old folks in the digital world.

I will never forget the first time I truly realized my age group was no longer considered important. Forget important, how about non-existent?

I was sitting at a client meeting at Briggs & Riley, the premium luggage company in Hauppauge, Long Island, when the young marketing managers started talking about their target audience. I wanted to slip under the conference room table and hide there until the meeting was over. I didn’t want anyone around the table to see that the person they relied on to pitch their luggage was no longer relevant.

The age group these young whippersnappers identified as the prime market for their luggage was 18 to 45. I was 58 at the time. Maybe I am crazy (don’t answer that), but I felt like someone had slapped me silly. One minute I was significant with a voice, the next I was on the outside looking in. Let’s not forget that folks 55-plus are the ones today who are doing the serious traveling and have the money to spend on quality luggage. What do those empty suits know anyway?

I really try not to focus on my age in business anymore because, as far as I am concerned, I have more energy and ambition than most youngsters today. I recently learned of a Business Insider survey conducted by Survey Monkey that compared the habits of older people who use smartphones to those of younger ones. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Business Insider has declared the age group 45-to-60 “old” compared to the age group below those numbers.

I wonder how it feels to be 45 and categorized as older America. Look at the questions asked and see the results. It’s amazing how the digital world is so divided. Maybe this is a metaphor for the rest of our lives as well.

Here are some of the topics in the survey. I think you will find the answers interesting.

Is it slightly acceptable to answer a phone call at dinner?

Are business calls slightly acceptable at dinner?

Is Facebook acceptable at dinner?

Is texting acceptable at dinner?

Do you leave voice mails?

Do you start your day with emails vs. Facebook?

Do you post a picture of people on Facebook without getting their permission?