Three years ago, I wrote about labeling people and then seeing them more narrowly — read it here — and it got a few nice comments. I labeled myself a Spunky Old Broad, which actually fits pretty well.
Social media is a wild and wonderful place, full of fascinating people from all over this small planet of ours. But it’s becoming a little clearer to me — and perhaps to some of my contemporaries — that it’s a fast-moving and sometimes difficult game to keep up with!
In April 2016, I celebrated another milestone birthday, which I will not name, but it was rather terrifying in its own way. When we’re in our 20s, 30s, or 40s, we rarely look ahead to see what older might mean for us. If we’re smart, we live fully every day, knowing that our life could end at any moment. We don’t often contemplate what it means to be older . . . until we are. Until we’re suddenly on the outside, looking inside at activities and gadgets we are struggling to understand, keep up with, and use correctly!
Not physical ones, although those play their part, but here I’m talking about technological ones. For most boomers, technology was transistor radios, TVs that we had to change by getting up off the couch to physically move a dial(!!!), and telephones that had live operators saying, “Number, please.”
Yes, we’ve moved on from all those, but the world is moving even faster, every second of every day, and change is constant. Cell phones last maybe a year, then everyone wants a new one. TVs are the size of small elephants, and there’s never one big enough, cool enough, or techie enough for some. Social media has more ways to connect than ever, but how is it possible to do it all?
Marietta Gentles Crawford, CPRW got me going one morning back then with her most-excellent post — read it here! — on using Twitter for your personal brand. Now the title sounds easy enough, right? And I still always read her posts, most of which I understand (or at least I think I do). But then I began reading. Hoo boy! I know I was probably overreacting, but it sounded like a lot of things I needed to do that I wasn’t doing and although it didn’t sound terribly difficult — it actually was. I still do use Twitter, sort of. But honestly, I’m not sure I totally got the “how” of what she wrote about, although I’ll bet most of you will when you read it. Marietta continues to delight me with her knowledge; she’s so smart in areas that I need help with.
Then I read John White’s very surprising and heartfelt post — read it here! — on what we don’t usually post on social media. That one really hit a nerve! I could relate to so much of the feelings surrounding the points he made, and I’m sure you will be able to as well. And it’s such fun to see how far he’s come since those days … he’s a social media giant now!
So finally I went looking for some comfort, which I (and everyone else) so often still find with Sarah Elkins. The headline was a little scary — read it here! — but it ended up being exactly what I needed to read that morning. Sarah writes from the heart, and I really needed that to bring me down off the cliff I felt I was hanging from. And she continues to do just that — challenging us and caring so much about us — witness her #NLV (No Longer Virtual) success! (Pssst: Have you registered yet for the next one?)
But this Spunky Old Boomer Broad has still been hanging on, although I learn some of this stuff more slowly than others. Even if I still don’t know all about Twitter / LI / Instagram / Medium / Thrive Global— I have friends and colleagues who are far smarter than I am in those areas who will help.
I love being able to post on topics that seem to help, including American grammar and communication, and I do love seeing what everyone else is posting; it’s like getting a semester abroad at college!
I’m happy to be a Spunky Old Broad.
I just want to continue to be relevant.
How about you? What challenges do you face in these incredibly fast-moving times?
A version of this was published in October 2015