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Millennials Getting Fired: Face-to-Face or Cyberspace?

Young people have been shown in increasing numbers to prefer being let go from their jobs through text than in person. After interviewing twenty-five students on the Point Loma Nazarene University campus, twenty-three people said that they would rather be let go from their place of employment in person, while the other two said they would prefer cellular communication. The reasoning behind those who prefer to be let go in person was that it is more personal, respectful, and professional. Those on the opposing side said that they would prefer being let go over text because it is less awkward, time-consuming, and embarrassing.

CNBC says that “one in eight workers” of millennial age would rather be fired through text or instant messaging than a conversation with their boss face-to-face, because they can convey “feelings in a short and succinct way.” Perhaps it is the ability to take more time when crafting a response, or the feeling of lessened embarrassment that makes the concept of technological firing so appealing to today’s 20 year olds. FlexJobs offers some pros and cons of being fired by text. At the base, being fired is “a deeply personal experience.” On the negative side, the act may seem unprofessional, cowardly, or even cruel. After working in a job for a period of time, getting laid off through text is “bound to feel…like a slap in the face.” Oppositely, being fired by cell phone saves time and helps avoid conflict. The idea becomes more complex when individual preferences are taken into account. Some may say that people of older generations would find being let go through the phone to be rather offensive, while those who have grown up communicating through such technology seem not to be phased by it, even preferring it.

Not all millennials have the laid-back, borderline lazy charisma, but even those who do not are probably still using their cell phones to accomplish 90% of their daily communication. At Point Loma, we constantly see (and use) phones, whether in the dorms, in the dining hall, walking on caf lane, in chapel, and even in the classroom itself. Fellow students may have some insight on whether or not they, and their savvy technological lifestyles, would prefer being let go through text rather than in person.


F. (2016, November 30). Getting Fired by Text Message. Retrieved September 7, 2017, from https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/getting-fired-by-text-message/

Umoh, R. (2017, August 22). Millennials are more likely to prefer being fired over text or instant message. Retrieved September 7, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/millennials-more-likely-to-prefer-being-fired-over-text.html


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Brooke Sargent

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