Technology and the Aging Man

One source indicates that nearly half of us in this cultural demographic born between 1946 and 1964 are “members” of some sort of social network. Facebook seems to be the “drug of choice”, with Twitter and Linkedin following in hot pursuit. I’ve been invited to Linkedin several times, why I don’t know. I have been known to mispronounce the title as “Link-a-DIN”. It’s supposed to be “Linked-IN”, as in “connected”, right? It seems to me that someone who can’t even say the name correctly has absolutely no business belonging, so no “linking-in” for me.

I do get a kick out of how this phenomenon of uber-connectedness has changed the English language. Words that traditionally were nouns are now verbs. We “Tweet”, text, and email each other to the point of possible injury. Maybe this all started with the use of the word “impacted” as a verb. I always associated this term with a lower digestive ailment. But, as usual, I digress.

The Boomer set has embraced this media-madness by also diving into the Twitter arena. It’s been reported that teens are more the texter types, with “tweeting” going to the generation just below us. One recent article questioned whether Boomer’s joining up in record numbers might kill off these methods of communication. I say, no way. Since there are so many of us, it can only enhance the opportunity for marketers, and thus drive dollars to these sites. But my daughter did tell me, by way of caution, that I was absolutely not to “friend” her on Facebook. (There’s that noun-verb confusion again.) Which I respected. Heck, I welcomed it. I really didn’t want to see all her business. Sometimes in this game of parenting, it’s best not to know too much about l what your kid is up to. And I’m not a prolific poster, feeling that no one truly cares that I just made myself this great egg sandwich with Swiss cheese on a lightly toasted wheat bagel. I usually just “stalk” other peoples comments, (‘stalk’ being used here in a non-creepy context), and make an occasional smarty-pants observation. But speaking of creepy, some of the personal stuff people put out there does NOT need to be shared with all the known world!

So it really should come as no surprise that Boomers are jumping on this technology wagon. We were after all the first to learn to program a VCR, embrace the garage door opener, and originally fund the technology of our offspring’s cell phone/laptop/iPod lifestyle. So don’t be too hard on us.

We just like to be seen as still relevant.


Tom Anselm is a retired teacher, who writes a biweekly column for the Suburban Journals of St. Louis, MO. He is the father of six, grandpa of 8, has recently gotten headshots taken and is doing photoshoots and commercials. Did we mention that he just joined the church contemporary music choir? Yeah, his wife thinks, he’s a little nutty, but that this is one of his endearing qualities. Golf continues to be a serious addiction. He is just sick about losing his 7-iron. http://tomsboomertimes.blogspot.com

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