The Rise of Millennials: Q&A with Mollie Goodfellow

With Millennials getting a pretty hard time in the press of late, I’m doing a series celebrating how AWESOME both millennials, and The Internet, can be.  TAKE THAT, SIMON SINEK! So far, I have spoken with author Laura Jane WIlliams, beauty blogger Talonted Lex, Josie, a disabled writer and story-teller who relies on the internet to stay connected to the world, awesome mummy blogger Susie Verrill and social media director Teague Emery.

Next up on my SMORGASBORD (GOD, I LOVE THAT WORD) is the delightful Mollie Goodfellow (@hansmollman ).  You may know Mollie from her hilarious tweets about Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s delightful relationship (I’ll insert one here, for posterity) – when Trump was elected. (They went properly viral – in that 50k plus RTs kind of way…)

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Personally, I have followed Mollie for years, and basically have a full blown crush on her. You know there are some people you like following on twitter, but you don’t want to freak them out so you essentially sit on your hands to stop yourself liking every single thing they say and post? That’s how I feel about Mollie. Every single thing she tweets is just A+

Obviously, I was delighted when Mollie agreed to take part in my series. As the youngest interviewee, she is Full Millennial, and I was so excited to hear her thoughts on the generation.

(If you’re wondering whether I intend to make all my intros to my blog really creepy the answer is YES. YES I DO. I just really like people, and have zero chill, okay?)

Great! Over to Mollie now. 

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Hi Mollie! Not to be too intense, but YOU are one of my all time faves to follow on Twitter – can I ask when you got your account and why?!

I got my account around 2009, just because really. I was starting sixth form and it was the new social media to have, so I got it. I then starting fashion blogging and found it really useful for getting my blogs out and meeting other people in the community. Also for retweeting memes.

Gotta love a meme. So, you use your profile to tweet a lot about politics and current affairs these days – can I ask what’s your current job and what does it entail?

I’m currently editorial assistant for Sky News. It basically means doing a lot of the admin that comes with a political news desk, but also helping out the news editors with finding new lines, setting up interviews with MPs and doing interviews with MPs.

That sounds like a bloody great gig. Did your social profile have an impact on your hiring process do you think?

It’s hard to say – when I joined I didn’t have as many followers as I do now, although I did have an active Twitter presence. I think if you’re using it in a way that isn’t rubbish and could make your employer look bad, it’s never going to hurt you to have a strong social presence.

I agree. Although I guess it comes with some risks – where you’re using your profile in a work and personal capacity, do you consider more what you’re saying? And where and how to you place the boundaries?

I think, especially with politics, I have to think a bit more about what I’m tweeting (even though, I may ignore my own advice). My role is very front facing – I’m often interviewing MPs and other high profile figures, so have to be a bit careful about what I’m saying on Twitter, in case I end up running into them the next day – not that they’d particularly have any idea who I am.

That seems like a sensible plan. What part do you think social media has to play in the political world?

I think Twitter and other social media has been amazing at linking people with the political world, particularly if they weren’t particularly engaged before. Look at people like Abby Tomlinson – through tweeting she got so many people involved in the last generation – even if they weren’t Milibaes.

I just think it’s this amazing, accessible place where everyone can come with their political ideas – even if they are terrible.

Oh god I miss Ed Milliband. They were simpler days. Anyway…. your (AMAZING) tweets about Joe Biden and President Obama went seriously viral – what was that like? I think I would be both thrilled and terrified (going viral is both my dream and the thing I am the most scared of)…

It was pretty intense. I didn’t really expect it. It broke my phone for a while cos it was just constant notifications, so I had to shut down. I think I went to bed and the next morning was overwhelmed. I also had a lot of people who took comfort in them in the looming threat of Trump. I got emailed by a few news shows in the US to be a guest, but for one reason or another it didn’t really work. I just love Biden. He’s so pure. If a golden retriever was human it would be Joe Biden.

Haha! Best description of a human ever. If Joe Biden is a golden retriever, Ed Milliband is a beagle. Such earnest eyes.  

Right, do you get trolled ever? How do you cope with it?

Only occasional stuff if a particularly controversial tweet or joke gets a few RTs. I’ve done a few jokes where people have tried to get me fired. I’ve been called ugly, and a bitch. It’s nothing major. I usually either RT with added snark or just ignore and stuff it deep inside to get upset about later.

Ha! Both good and healthy responses. Do you find it hard to ‘switch off’ and detox from the internet?

I find it very hard. Because I work in news I convince myself that I have to constantly be logged in or have some access to the internet and news, but it’s probably just a cover so I can keep tweeting. I always say to myself I’m gonna log off this weekend, and then never do. I hate it and hate myself. Just addicted to them numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who is constantly scrolling through over dinner with friends, I have some self-respect. But if I were to go on a holiday, and there was no wi-fi, let’s just say I would not be going on that holiday.

I think that’s fair. How do you feel when people from an older generation have negative perceptions of Internet use or describe millennials as entitled or lazy?

It really fucks me off. I think it just shows a complete lack of understanding. I started off my media career as an apprentice at the Indy and Evening Standard and I entirely doubt I would have got it without my internet use. I was blogging and using social media to build a profile, and without that I doubt I would’ve been given a chance. I’m not an Oxbridge graduate, I’m not a graduate at all and my dad isn’t the third Earl of Wessex who married the editor of some paper. I think the internet has given a generation a whole new chance to try and get involved in media and other professions, like music and to be constantly shat on by a generation who were given chances like free university is really boring.

I also think the call of millennials being entitled or lazy is bullshit. There are lazy and entitled people in every generation, but I think particularly with millennials we’re a generation who are in this extended period of young adulthood. The economy hasn’t been great, we’re earning less and less and the chances of joining the housing market are slim to none – so why would we be committing to stuff that the older generation may have been committed to at our age? I don’t think it’s entitlement, I think it’s just a group of people who are pissed off at circumstances that are so opposite to what their elders experienced, and then on top of that we’re called lazy.

Basically, every time I see an article that is all “millennials are lazy and bad, by me, an important and noble Gen X/Baby Boomer’ I die a little inside.

YES. THANK YOU MOLLIE. You are 100% correct. Lastly, who’s your favourite follow online? BONUS POINTS FOR WHY!
This is super hard because there are so many genres. I really enjoy @dril I don’t know why, I don’t know that anyone knows why. And @MaryNumair is a good and funny woman. Also @KeetPotato for just awful but good jokes.

Great – THANK YOU SO MUCH for your time Mollie. You answers were just as brilliant and hilarious as I dreamed. 

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