To quote the late great philosopher, Whitney Houston: I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way. What I now know is, she was talking about Instagram content.

Last night, we welcomed Creative Skillset and Hiive to our office to host an evening designed to help and inspire a room full of 40 talented young people into jobs in social media. We agreed to do it because, like most agencies, we want to do some good things for the world as well as making burger gifs. What I hadn’t expected is that said younglings would be so brilliant and so creative and so passionate about social media that it would make me fear for our jobs but renew my confidence in the future of mankind.

Often when we do talks and workshops for grown-up successful people, they ask questions like: “do we really need social media if we make nice TV adverts?” or “how do I log-in to Snapchat?”. But last night, the first question was: “if I’m making native videos for Facebook or Instagram and want to get them out quickly, which editing software would you recommend?”. This time next year, he’ll be earning more than Piers Morgan.

At one point, I was talking through the various types of social content we make for our clients. When I reached the bit about cinemagraphs, I did what I normally do: explain what a cinemagaph is. And out of the corner of my eye, as I glanced at the front row, I saw a girl giving me a look which said: “yes granddad, we know what a cinemagraph is.”

Young people know more about social media than we do. They’ve grown up with it. It’s like teaching them about chocolate or Netflix. They didn’t need to learn how to ‘do social media’, they wanted to see the stuff we’ve made, chat to us about how we made it, and find out how a young person in 2017 from a not particularly privileged background gets a job making stuff like that. So we told them.

The session ended with them splitting into groups and responding to a Nando’s brief we worked on last Christmas. After giving them 10 minutes to brainstorm one piece of content, they presented their ideas to the room. The quality of ideas was genuinely astounding. Having freelanced at over a dozen agencies before starting That Lot, I can say with confidence that their suggestions were above industry standard. The winning team suggested an Instagram Carousel of Santa being pulled on a sleigh by delicious-looking cooked chickens which looks like a little animation as you scroll from left to right. Their hashtag? #StockingFillet.

These are the people who will be running things in the next few years. These are the people who will be winning elections for political parties. These are the people who will be picking up awards for creativity. And these are the people who I’ll probably be sending my c.v to when I’m 40 but they’ll be too busy buying sports cars to respond which will be awkward.

So, any of you guys on MySpace?