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Insta is the New Instagram

In the building where I work, there are two entire floors dedicated to an upstart business which employs only a certain type of people.  They’re young and eager, they arrive each morning carrying an iced latte, and they wear super cute wedges.  Sometimes they have wet hair, and the girls never wear much makeup.  They are treated to catered lunches and Friday concerts right there in their office. They’re cheerful, will speak when spoken to, and most of the time let the ladies go first.

They are Millennials ….and I love ’em to pieces.


I told these millennials that I was writing a blog post about millennial lingo and asked if they were up for a selfie.  Look how nice they were!  I think we bonded a little.

If there are elevator rules of etiquette, I maintain a level of “blissfully unaware.” I haven’t hugged anyone – yet. But, I do ask questions.

I want to know what they like about living and working in Austin, what they’re doing on the weekends, and more importantly, how long it’s been since they’ve seen their parents. lol

But, here’s the thing.

I’ve noticed that when millennials speak to me, they elongate their words, yet they abbreviate their words and speak quickly to each other.  It’s so cute how they can be talking to each other about whatever, and then when I pipe in (because I’m blissfully unaware of elevator etiquette), they very courteously look my way, speak slower, more politely, using full words.

I don’t want to be left behind in the lingo department, so, I’ve decided to abbreviate words, too.  When in Rome, you know.  I’ll keep my full words and proper grammar as my native tongue, but I’m in “Rome” at least 4 times a day, so I think it’s important to learn from the locals.

Now, if the elevator ever jolts to a stop between floors, and we’re stuck on there together, someone will need to use their phone and give complete sentence instructions to the help desk, so that can be me.  But until that happens, I want to be able to communicate with millennials.  I might need them someday.

Here’s what we overfifty-ers need to know:  Shorten as many words as possible when talking to a millennial.

“Hey, I liked your Insta pic.”

“Is that a new purse?  It’s totes cute.”

“My kid wants me to buy his tickets to the game.  That’s so not legit.”

“I got a new tatt this weekend.” (Prolly not.)

“Did you hear Susie is preg?”

“Yeah, that’s just cray.”

“I hope she has a girl.  That would be so presh.”


I don’t know who decides what words should be shortened.  If I tried to shorten a word, it would sound cray, not coo.

“Hey, mom, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?” “Oh, prolly same ol’  turk and dress.”

In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m kind of rethinking the whole elevator etiquette thing.  Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut and enjoy the ride.


Encouraging intentional adventure and elevator selfies,


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  • Jana Meleen

    I can SO see you interacting with those millennials (or anyone you come in contact with) in an elevator. You’re totes adorbs! 🙂

  • Mark

    What I admire you and mike is that you guys always venture out and adapt different culture with different ages.

    • Brenda

      Mark, that’s so sweet. We think you are a pretty adventurous guy yourself!