Social Media and Baby Boomers

I surprised a young man the other day when I knew how to create a desktop shortcut for Microsoft Outlook 2010. It took about 5 seconds. I then set up folders and re-arranged some things within the program. That, too, took very little time. Furthermore, I knew exactly what I was doing.

His surprised reaction got me thinking about the way my generation is perceived. We’re at the tail end of the baby boomer generation. We were in Junior High during Watergate and in High School during the end of the Vietnam War. That means we’re the generation who learned that people make a difference in this world and that world can become a better place because one person took a stand.

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I’ve got news for everybody: technology hasn’t passed us by. Just because we remember what a 5-1/4 inch floppy looks like doesn’t mean that we can’t learn all about the cloud.  As a writer, I can appreciate the luxury of storing my documents someplace safe and not dependent on the physical universe.

Just because we (barely) remember when the most efficient business tool was the telex machine, doesn’t mean we can’t embrace social media technology. I happen to like Twitter and I’d be completely lost without my Iphone. Writing can be a lonely profession but it’s nice to know that I can still be connected to my friends and colleagues as we work in our own spaces and in for us fiction writers, our own worlds.  Literally. One hundred and forty characters is just about right to stay in touch without getting too distracted from the fictional reality I’m currently creating.

I’ve been looking for a day job and it’s as brutal out there on the job market as you’ve heard. I’ve got this impression that employers are looking for the perfect person, the one who matches their job description 100%, even down to the proprietary software program that they may be using to conduct their business. How can any person be 100% perfect? I commented to a friend the other day that if dating was like the job market today then nobody would get married because we’d all be looking for the perfect mate, the one that matched every quality we’d listed, the one who didn’t need any training. That doesn’t sound very realistic when you talk about dating, how is hiring an employee any different? I’ve learned –  and forgotten – any number of computer programs. I can learn one more. But too often I don’t even make the final cut for the applicant pool.

I guess this post today is something of a rant. So be it. Maybe the teenage girl who saw how two people who wanted answers to a few questions managed to bring down a president isn’t dead after all. One person can make a difference. Today, with this post, I hope it’s me.  Social media technology is the way we communicate with the world right now. Embrace it. No. My generation must be permitted to embrace it. Please don’t assume that we’re not!

 

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net

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3 thoughts on “Social Media and Baby Boomers

  1. Right on! I embrace technology and social media so much that it feels like an extension of my right hand – or something along those lines. Yes I am a Boomer but NO I am not over-the-hill nor irrelevant. Where do they come up with stuff? Well, I admit to using a crochet hook from time to time, and I bake cookies and sometimes babysit my 9-month old grandson. On the other hand, I don’t sit around watching TV all day and I am a faster walker than most younger people. I walk briskly – things to do and places to see, and OMG, how will I ever fit it all in? Such fun it is, the life of a Boomer.

    • I know what you mean! I’m growing tired of people assuming that I can’t handle today’s communication technology simply because of my age. I knew when my former employer left the state that it was going to be difficult getting a job, but I really had no idea of the blinding prejudice toward workers over 50 years of age.

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