Vocation Landscape Changes as Technology Evolves

Posted: 4/10/2012

social media logosTechnology is moving like a snowball rolling down a hill. It's moving faster and faster, and its reach is growing wider and wider. In many ways, this is a good thing, but it is also causing growing pains for those of us who work in vocations.

The seismic growth in technology over the past 15-20 years has left us to wonder what is next. Broad, sweeping changes occur in very short passages of time. In the early 1990s, anyone who owned a cell phone had it either mounted in the car or strapped to the shoulder with a heavy case containing the mechanism that made it work. At the turn of the century, we worried about Y2K (the year 2000). And questions abounded: Would the changeover to a new millennium make the world shut down? Would planes fall out of the sky because computers thought it was 1900 instead of 2000?

In the last five years or so, the world of social media has exploded with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogspot, Pinterest, and more. The way people interact has changed so drastically that as vocation ministers, we are finding great differences in communication and technology preferences among the people with whom we are discerning, even though there may be only a few years of difference in their ages.

I don't have scientific data, but I can speak from the experience of having made contact with many men between the ages of 18 and 47 (which is the age range of men Glenmary will accept into formation). Men who are 40-47 are most likely to call or e-mail to begin conversations. Men in their 30s are most likely to use e-mail as their primary form of communication. Men under 30 will often use Facebook, texting or some form of social media as the primary means of contact.

In addition to social media, smartphones have become useful tools in vocation ministry. Quick Reader (QR) codes have also come to the forefront as a way to interact with potential vocation prospects. A QR code can be made to link to any Web page, so we can direct people to the Glenmary Web site, Facebook page, or other venues. These codes can be printed in our advertisements, promotional brochures and other materials.

Glenmary has worked hard to stay on the cutting edge of technology and has used social media to its greatest advantage, while still maintaining a close connection to the simplicity of our mission. We carry smartphones. Glenmary has a Web site. The Vocation Office has a Facebook page, two Twitter accounts (@ghmvocations and @hermanodavid), a YouTube page and a blog.

If you would like to contact us, feel free to use any of the above methods or let us know of other ways we can connect with you.