Too old to be hip and too young not to use social media – 3 quick thoughts for the middle aged user
As of late there is rarely a week that does not go by where folks don’t ask me why I extensively use LinkedIn, Facebook, Buffer, Klout, Paper.li, write a blog and more. To me they have become incredible time saving and business tools that I would not want to miss anymore. I have found new friends, can stay in touch with old ones, have found new employees on LinkedIn to name just a few benefits.
Problem is that for the majority of older folks, the sheer volume of Internet offers provides little value and they look at me funny: “What on Earth do you spent all this time on line for (actually I don’t)? Aren’t you a little old for that stuff?” On the other hand, younger people look at us “older” guys as if we are dinosaurs: “It’s so easy that a kid can literally do this. Why can’t you at least try?” We are caught between a rock and a hard place: Too old to be hip and too young not to use social media.
Just wait a moment though. If this is you, do not throw in the towel just yet. There are 3 key questions for you to ponder. Once you are done with thinking hard, it will be time to act. Choose to become an active social media member; that is all that I can recommend.
- What can you lose? There is so much useful information out there that it would be a shame missing out on it. You can always choose to ignore the chatter and do nothing. It’s all electronic and will therefore not waste any paper.
- Confused where to get help? It is easier than you think. If you have family and friends chances are that someone can get you started with the minimum Internet presence such as mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc. Once your personal information (profile), timeline, sharing platform, are set up, all you have to invest is a few hours of getting used to start using it.
- What is the most important thing about starting to use social media? It all seems a possible waste of time, this social media thing. True. Well, it is only true if you have no plan how much time you want to dedicate to this and when. The moment you have an idea what you want your limitations to be the Internet can become your friend and not your foe. Start with spending no more than 20 minutes per day either in the evening, or in the morning on your favorite platforms. Then explore the pages and functions of each of your platforms. Do so with the innocence and mindset of a 9 year old child. Do not be afraid to make mistakes – they really do not matter in the vast space that is the Internet.
Is all of this still too much for you? No worries, I will never lay a guilt trip on anyone. This is a matter of your personal choice. You can certainly choose to stay where you are and not use any.
On the other hand there are truly useful features of the various platforms in stow for you. Then there is the nasty issue with obsolescence and the never ending push for newer, better, and more useful technologies spreading through our daily work and social lives. How we do business and get information will more and more rely on Internet technologies. It is tough to stop the proliferation of faster and cheaper method to communicate and do business with one another.
What is happening is not unlike what happened on the PA Turnpike: At first EZ Pass payment with transponders allowing you to just drive through the toll booths used to be the exception. It makes your trips shorter though and as of late the tolls are cheaper for the EZ Pass user – people who do not use the new technology spend more time and money on the Turnpike. Some exits no longer take cash (!). See what I mean? Age does not play a role here folks!
If you are interested in learning more about this topic and would like to get more into the hang of social media, here are 2 people who have helped me greatly with venturing deeper into this subject matter. Jeff Goins and Michael Hyatt. Let me know if you have any question, or if I can be of any help with any of the above.