Hi, I'm the millennial that's going to change your life. 

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My name is Molly Smithson and I’m a digital marketing expert, writer, ardent dill pickle fan and…. millennial. 

I grew up a digital Dickensian street urchin navigating the wild west of the world wide web.

I had an email at 5, filled with pitfalls like Nigerian princes or unknown insurance settlements. My main entertainment as a kid was the Oregon Trail DVD game, where you could die of dysentery, or worse, have your computer crash. I was on MySpace, Facebook, and Youtube (plus AIM, rest in peace) before high school. 

Before even attending school, millennials learned how to discern fake information, discover engaging stories and digitally connect with others. This scares older generations, but for us, it’s just life.

I went on to study mass communication at UNC Asheville, where I was lucky enough to complete my capstone undergraduate research in a burgeoning new field, social media practices and strategy.

Around then, I began my career as a content writer and keyword assistant for real estate lead generation company Element-360.  Learning how we search the internet was like peeking inside a super-brain filled with empirical observations on how we ask for the things we want...I know, total data nerd. I discovered that searching for information on Google is the same as cracking open a phone book or the classifieds. The ones with concise language and crisp design are going to pop.

But it’s better than a phone book, because data, hard facts makes it easy for us to find exactly the things we need. 

Throughout all of this, my love for writing, fiction and film impacted the style in which I created digital content. Companies are no different than a character in a short story or poem: they have unique accomplishments and challenges that people delight in relating and understanding. 

After graduating, I spent a year and a half at Darby Communications, an outdoor and lifestyle-focused public relations and digital marketing firm, where it became apparent that the days of the letterhead press releases were truly over. In the saturated and digitally-driven outdoor adventure market, you have to show what drives you to create great gear and how exactly your product will affect consumer’s daily lives for the better.

In the sea of ‘authentic’ Instagram stars and slick brands, you have to create a tight community and prove to users that your products won’t break down in the middle of the trail. 

As I’ve grown up, studied mass communication theory and applied it to the digital landscape, I have realized that the internet and all the things to come out of it are tools. Just like the printing press, which helped spawn newspapers, which in turn created newspaper ads and the field of marketing as we know it. 

Like those media inventions before, the Internet itself is just a tool that can be used for better or worse… And I want to make sure it’s better. 

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