Monday, March 15, 2010

Blogging a bust for Millennials?

Hello! I’m Carrie Cannaday, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a guest blogger here on the re:Generations blog.

Jessica invited me to blog on this site several months ago, and I was so grateful for her invitation! Since then, it has taken me several months to muster up a post!

I was really beating myself up over my lack of initiative to sit down and blog, until... Jessica sent me this Pew Research Center study on Social Media and Internet Use, and I realized that my behavior is only typical for a millennial such as I!

According to this study, blogging has been on the decline among teens and young adults since 2006. The percentage of teens and young adults (those under 30) who blogged then was 28 percent, compared to 14 percent who maintain a blog now.

This sharp decline in blogging among youth is met by consistency in blogging among older adults. One in ten online adults (ages 30 and up) has consistently maintained a blog since 2005.

So, why the decline in blogging among teens and young adults?

The Pew study indicates that youth and young adults are gravitating toward micro-blogging techniques, as one-third of young adults (age 18-29) now post or read status updates on social networking sites.

In my own personal experiences, and based on what I observe from my peers, I’d say that all this is linked to the fact that we are a multi-tasking/microwave generation that prefers to express ourselves quickly and often in short status updates (like those on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter), rather than take the time to sit down and write a lengthy blog.

Oddly enough, my own personal experiences correlate perfectly with what the Pew study indicates. Prior to 2006, I was an avid blogger - writing, on average, 3 to 5 blogs a week. Since 2006, however, I have ceased keeping a personal blog, and have (as you can tell from my lack of blogs on this site) struggled to blog at all!

All the while, I have, over the past few years, been micro-blogging through posting regular updates on Facebook and Twitter, and I have noticed that my peers are largely doing the same.

So, my advice to you if you’re looking for more frequent updates from re:Generations: try visiting the re:Gens Facebook and Twitter pages! :-)

And, on the same note, now that I’m aware of my generation’s blogging short-falls, I’ll also see if I can attempt to work harder to combat them! I’ll try to be back with another blog soon! ;-)

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Millennials and meds

Check out this study on high school/college students and depression. It found five times as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues as youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era. Fascinating stuff... and an area I've been wanting to study more.


As to the "why's" of the depression/anxiety surge... there's a lot to uncover. The article sites a couple of causes: societal pressures to be rich and beautiful, and doting parents.

Several studies also have captured the growing interest in being rich, with
77 per cent of those questioned for UCLA's 2008 national survey of college
freshmen saying it was "essential" or "very important" to be financially well
off.Experts say such high expectations are a recipe for disappointment.

Meanwhile, they also note some well-meaning but overprotective parents have
left their children with few real-world coping skills, whether that means doing
their own budget or confronting professors on their own.

It would also be interesting to examine the role of technology in all this. Many young people live in a socially networked world that can end up being pretty lonely and isolating at the end of the day. Then there's the confusion between virtual life and real life. Ex: killer wii bowler, yet stink in real life bowling. (aka: me)

We also live in a world that offers a pill for every ill. I'd be interested to see how many parents/doctors just throw medicine at young people as a first resort "fix," instead of identifying the root causes of their troubles... working through the "coping" steps... or seeing a counselor, etc.

Certainly depression/anxiety is a serious issue and often requires medical attention. I don't downplay that at all. But, I find it interesting that our generation (who has it all) is struggling more than the great depression youngsters (who really had it tough).

What do you think is contributing to the problem?

One thing's for sure: we all want our youth to grow up to be happy, healthy young adults. Yet they are hurting. How can we help?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

re:Generations blogging is back!

Hello, hello! It’s about time I blogged a bit, huh? Thanks for your emails requesting re:Gens updates. It’s been an incredibly busy, and amazing, year for the ministry; it all started with a partnership with ‘Faith in the Family International,’ FFI for short. re:Generations is now member ministry of this great organization, thus receiving 501c3, non-profit status. In addition to encouragement and wise counsel, FFI acts as a ministry enabler, providing ‘legal, financial, and administrative services as well as a "covering" and accountability for men and women who are called of God to lead a biblically-based outreach without the hassle or expense of organizing and operating a separate non-profit organization.’ What a blessing! To learn more about FFI, check out

I kicked off the New Year speaking at the United Methodist Church’s ‘Holston Conference’ in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. It was an honor to interact with hundreds of pastors and youth leaders who are eager to reach my generation. We left challenged, and encouraged. My mentor, Lisa, came along for the ride.

A few weeks later I packed my bags and jumped on a tour bus with 20 college students from King College. Destination: New York City! We served a non-profit organization in Brooklyn called CAMBA, relieving them of the nitty-gritty, time-consuming jobs like cleaning, painting, running errands, etc.

I was on ‘team organization’ and, as you can see, we didn’t mess around with our closet cleaning!

My favorite part of the trip was getting to know these beautiful young men and women who gave up their spring break and PAID $500 to scrub toilets. Their only ambition was to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Words weren’t necessary. I was inspired, blessed and encouraged by the servant-like heart of these college students. Our generation, as a whole, really desires to change the world. And, when we channel that longing for Christ, watch out!

As much as we worked hard in the Big Apple, we made sure to play hard! I think I pulled a muscle in this picture. (I knew I should have stretched first!) Grandma here is getting too old for the late nights and endless adventures that college life entails. But, I sure did enjoy it for a week!

I also had the great opportunity to be on set for ‘Hannity’s America.’ Sean and his staff were very gracious.

Meeting Karl Malone, aka: The Mailman, wasn’t too shabby either!

After NYC, I spoke at a Missions Conference at Christian Medical and Dental Associations. As always, it was a blast. There were ministry leaders from all over the world present, so I gained a global perspective on inter-generational ministry. Thanks CMDA Missions teams!

Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had to this point came in April, when I was invited to share on Capitol Hill! I spoke to the House Values Action Team, ‘VAT,’ and several other pro-life organizations on how to reach my generation with the conservative/values message. This is my passion! It was an invaluable experience, and several neat endeavors have emerged as a result. I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness.

As you can see by these highlights, it’s been a great year thus far. I’m thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness. All this is because of Him. Please continue to pray for re:Generations as we move forward with many new and exciting projects and partnerships. I value your love, support and encouragement.

All for Christ,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

The DMV and Me

It’s official: I’m a Tennessee resident... again!

I waited three hours-- with 50 other restless Tennesseans-- for my turn to fill out papers and get a mug shot. Fun times!

I frequent the dreaded DMV more often than not because, according to my moving stats, I relocate every two years. With the help of family and friends, I’ve packed up many the U-Hauls and trekked my way from Virginia… to Colorado… to Tennessee. Oh the adventures!

It’s a great season of life to try different jobs, experience other cultures and make new friends. And it’s not unusual for my generation to pack up, hit the road and do just that. Forty-five percent of my peers [24-35 year old Americans] expect to move within the next two years. My guess is, they will. And they should!

I'm excited to discover where my next adventure leads. Until then... on to the next government renewal on my list: a passport.

Italy anyone? :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Miracle of the Moment

It’s been one of those days.

I overslept and was late for an important meeting this morning. That’s not good, considering I had to leave the meeting early to catch a flight.

Luckily, my tardiness came to an end and I was on time for my flight. Too bad it was canceled. (I’m famous for getting stranded in airports, but usually not on my first leg!) Four standbys, three security checks and six hours later… I find myself hanging out at the Tri-Cities airport, praying I can get to Memphis in time to speak at 7:00 tonight.

I’m cutting it close, but I’m not stressed. (Which is not like me!) Instead, I’m sitting back, enjoying the miracle of this moment. It’s one I probably would have missed had God not slowed-down my day. My ‘moment’ goes a little something like this…

In my consulting endeavors, I’ve met some incredible people from all walks of life. Weeks ago, I mentioned to one of those people--Harry-- how much I love ‘hearing people’s stories.’ Everyone has a story to tell. What would happen if we just took time to listen?

Harry recommended a book called, ‘Listening is an Act of Love.’ It’s a compilation of stories written by average, everyday Americans. To my surprise, Harry handed me the book as I frantically rushed out of the office this morning. I quickly said, ‘Thanks! I look forward to reading it.’ And… off I went.

Since I accrued some downtime today, I opened the book. I was starting the first chapter when a piece of paper fell out. On the paper was a letter, written to me.

Jessica… I have to share a story regarding the “Listening is an Act of Love Book.”

Let me start by retelling a fable I once heard. It seems there was this Christian Missionary living amongst tribal people and working with children rather deep in the jungles of Africa. On her birthday, one small eight year old gave her, as a gift, the most beautiful seashell. She was taken back… not so much by the shell’s beauty… but by knowing that they were at least two days journey from the nearest seashore. She knew that the little fellow must have trekked through the jungle for at least three if not four days to retrieve the shell. Upon expressing her dismay to the little fellow that he had endure so much danger and hard work on her behalf… he replied… “But teacher, the journey is part of the gift.”

It appears that “Listening is an Act of Love” will come out in paperback on October 28th. I know now that when a book is scheduled to come out in paperback, the store returns all unsold hardback copies to the publisher. I searched at no less than six bookstores for this book and finally found this one last and lonely hardback at a store in Christiansburg on Sunday. When I went to the info desk to inquire if they had additional copies, they informed me that all had been returned to the publisher and they were surprised that this copy was still on the shelf. As a matter of fact, one of the attendants seemed to be attempting to casually slide the book away from me when I quite assertively explained that this copy was leaving with me!!!

I know you will enjoy this book. And I have greatly enjoyed tracking it down for you… because the journey is part of the gift.


The journey is part of the gift…. I'm so grateful! What a sweet reminder of selflessness. Thank you, Harry! And to think, I very well could have missed this blessing.

And so I sit quietly in the Tri-Cities Airport, watching the planes fly over the colorful Tennessee Mountains, reading my new book and sipping on a coffee, (per usual). I still don’t have a confirmed flight. I’m still scheduled to speak in Memphis at 7:00. And, I’m still enjoying the miracle of this moment.

Steven Curtis Chapman sings it like this: “So breathe it in and breathe it out. Listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now. It’s right there in front of you. And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment.”

Are you enjoying the miracle of your moment?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

True or False: Millennials are philanthropic?

The answer, according to a recent Campbell & Co. study, is TRUE. Eighty-percent of its Millennial respondents participate in charitable giving. The report also dispels the myth that my peers and I are less generous than older generations when it comes to giving.

“Factors such as education, income level and frequency of church attendance -- not age -- account for the differences between generations in how much and how often people give to charities the study concluded.”
-Western Michigan Business Review article
That’s great news for non-profits! The challenge, then, becomes communicating with potential Millennial donors in a way we will hear, understand and want to be a part of. Too often well-intentioned messaging gets lost in translation.

"It's like any other transition -- foundations and philanthropic organizations need to think about what issues are important to those donors and how they want to be communicated with and all of the other complexities that go into their fund raising. The needs of the market are changing. Organizations are having to adapt to that change and the way they raise funds."
-Maria Gajewski, researcher with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University, as quoted in the Western Michigan Business Review

So, what motivates Millennials to give? “A desire to make the world a better place,” the report finds.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here. There. And everywhere.

That pretty much sums up my whereabouts over the past two months. From Detroit to Colorado Springs to Seattle, I’ve enjoyed a series of adventures both personally and professionally. I apologize for my blogging negligence in the interim!

My trip to Michigan was extra special. I was blessed to celebrate my former Colorado roomie, aka: my best friend Amber’s wedding.

Congrats Josh and Amber Luongo!

The second wedding of the summer was a little closer to home. My beautiful little sister, Emily, married the love of her life. Allie and I got to stand by her side, and even gained a brother out of the deal. Score!

I love you Chris and Emily!

(Stay tuned for blogs on marriage trends)

Next on the agenda? A trip to my old stomping grounds in Colorado Springs. I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Navigators Headquarters and meeting new friends who have a passion for reaching 20-somethings for Christ.

My purpose for going to Colorado was to gain insight into intergenerational ministry strategies from Dr. Chuck Stecker, President of ‘A Chosen Generation.’ I look forward to sharing what I learned. Great stuff!

Last but not least, I landed in beautiful Seattle, Washington to attend the Navigators’ 20-something ministry, called B2G’s, national gathering. We heard from awesome speakers, made new friends and roughed it on a cruise ship in Puget Sound.

In summary: It’s been an incredible 2 months. I’m grateful!