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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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told you so

 

Told you so- Here’s a blog for now but I’m not going away. Here’s why, Demographics of internet users say that older adults that be me (I can pass for younger) are embracing social media. Seniors are increasing our use of social media. I’m telling you, it has it rewards. Seventy-five percent of 50 to 60 year olds are online. Remember my friend I referred to (O brave one) who got it? The study says that educated seniors are more likely to go on the internet than those less educated. Who cares? Go my fellow late boomers and bloomers! Just go!

Non profits who work with older people are being asked to teach them how to navigate on line which includes social media in my humble opinion.  As a matter of fact, getting someone with patience who could teach me like I was a 6-year old was a huge task and a huge scare.  Recall, the monster that was going to eat me? I was genuinely afraid that life would pass me by if I didn’t get with it.

While we’re on the subject here’s some interesting tips when teaching late gamers: 1) we are not sitting back. Don’t ignore us, 2) new technologies are not for the young and the tech-savvy; it’s made to empower everyone (that’s what I’m talking bout)  3) accessibility has to be  built into the planning process for new products from the start with consideration of size and physical ability and 4)  education for new products should be made available for seniors and late gamers so that we don’t  become victims of the fall behind in the digital divide. For nonprofits and others who are waiting for boomers to die off, remember we have something to say and something to give to people all over the world. Here’s the thing? You want my money well…. Give me something honey. Let’s help each other.

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embrace

 

No longer behind- At my last post, I talked about not feeling left behind. That feeling  came from embracing social media as a tool for furthering my education and enhancing my life. I can connect to all kinds of people, places and things. The good thing is , I can choose channels that best reach out to others. Don’t misunderstand, I have not  become and expert just yet nor will I probably ever be.  I’m just so happy I faced the social media monster and it didn’t eat me up.

To those of you who are like myself, step out of your comfort zone. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I implore you to join me. Change is not easy but, it can be a meaningful journey that lead to wonderful places. I recall a friend who posts a lot on facebook . I admired her courage to learn social media and technology. She is so good at it and for years I watched in awe how she does it with so much ease. I never dreamed until I released my old thinking that I could do the same. I too can find gems and nuggets of information. Better yet, connecting to people means I connect to the world to find my own sources and sense of empowerment. Yeah, I’ll say it now. Social media can empower the late bloomers also.

Would I have come to this conclusion had it not been for Public relations courses?  I honesty don’t know. I do know that you never find out unless you get out there where the information is. I am grateful for that.  I’m most grateful that God has given me the makeup to always do better and often that requires a deep look at what is holding me back.


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have no fear

 

Not alone – I was wondering if I had some type of deficit or disability or was I so set in my baby boomer ways that made me outdated. The thought did cross my mind of being some sort of dinosaur in today’s  world where social media is such a dominating force. My goodness! Even my granddaughter knows what’s up. She has the ability to operate a tablet like a pro. At one point I pondered if it were them, me or   As soon as I realized I could become more social media savvy, because of a desire and partly a need to compete in today’s workforce, I became more empowered o try to do new things. All of a sudden, I found myself probing and investigating more topics of interest to me.  I began to say things like “I’ll Google this and that”.

I was thrilled just to know the possibilities. My possibilities.Coursework sometimes feel like force, sometimes ambivalence and sometimes curiosity. My Attention span and interest runs the gamut. This I do know, social media has given me a new birth of some sort.  While I’m just coming out of the womb, I’m crying to learn more. In fact, I find myself fascinated by the vastness and depth of ways available to do everything from finding my old a friend, connecting with new friends, job search, and business and on and on it goes. Just think, less than a year ago, this baby-boomer was looking to for a way to connect to a changing world and developing skills to reach people worldwide. It was right at my fingertips, calling me.

My fingertips have now touched something that stimulates my mind. It can do the same for anyone. You are not alone. There are so many people calling your name.


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Baby Boomers and Social Media J(^U^)

Recently, I have found myself sharing conversations with other baby boomers, like myself, who echo a sense of dismay over how life, as we know it, has so drastically changed over the course of our lifetime. Surely, it must be the most extreme, compared to previous generations.

The nearly 79 million-strong baby boomer population, born between 1946 and 1964, are not only significant for their numbers, but also their distinct social and demographic characteristics. In 2011, the first of the baby boomer generation reached the age of 65, and for the next 17 years, nearly 10,000 boomers a day will celebrate their 65th birthday. That is a lot of candles!

The Woodstock generation, with their collective spirit of optimism, exploration and achievement, have definitely left their very own unique and distinctive impression on the world. Baby Boomers came of age during a period of U.S. history in which the complexity of family life increased dramatically (Cherlin, 2010). Boomers had front seats for:
• The Civil Rights Movement
• The Women’s Movement
• Dramatic shifts in educational, economic, and social opportunities
• Man’s first steps on the moon
• At least four major wars
• The creation of the first computer
• The assassination of JFK, Martin Luther King J
Not to mention they:
• Have lived through economic explosion and collapse
• They have challenged underlying values and attributes of society
• Have higher rates of separation and divorce; lower rates of marriage with fewer children
• On average, are healthier with longer life expectancy
• Have more varied work histories, and work more of their adult years
• Have influenced education, fashion, music, race relations, sex roles, hair-length, and child-rearing (remember Dr. Spock?), as well as key societal institutions.

Whew! The list goes on and on, but in summation, baby boomers have redefined each stage of life as they experienced it and are known to be goal-oriented, adaptive, and focused on individual choices and personal freedom. Just think, the boomers have already lived a lifetime, and technology has only blossomed in the last 10 to 15 years. True to form, baby boomers have embraced technology as a lifeline, enabling the preservation of autonomy and identity—a voice and new tool to enable them to take charge of their own life as physical agility fades.

According to 2010 Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project, “…the 74+ age group is the fastest growing demographic among social networks. Currently, there are 39 million people aged 65 and older using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.” The study also showed that seniors reported feeling happier due to online contact with family and friends through social media. Through online connections, more seniors feel empowered and connected while fewer suffer depression from the helplessness of isolation.

The American Academy of Neurology published a new study which involved 294 seniors who were tested for memory and cognitive thinking every year for six years, then examined for physical signs of dementia. The people who were mentally active, maintaining a steady stream of stimuli through technology, displayed sharper wits and intellect, whereby those devoid of social media stimuli showed more advanced signs of aging with greater incidence of memory loss and inability to retain information. Well I guess that conflicts with the reports from Korea about “digital dementia.” Everything in life is a double-edged sword with good and bad attributes alike. The difference is usually in ones preferred slant or persuasion.

To be honest, I don’t consider myself a senior citizen yet, although there are days when my joints would argue that point. “Determination” is definitely a boomer trait I happen to possess and for that I am grateful, as it has enabled me to embrace technology with all of its idiosyncrasies. Personally, I welcome the rapid pace of technology; the faster it moves, the more I will have the privilege of experiencing in this baby boomer lifetime. I say, “Bring it on, baby! oh, and while you’re at it, please pass the green tea.” J(^U^)