Saturday, January 17, 2009

Facebook Is NOT The Domain Of The Young

An article entitled Baby Boom Generation Now Outnumbered by Larry Bodine popped in my Google Reader yesterday. As I read, I noted the various statistics comparing my generation (late Baby Boomer) with The Millenials aka The Net Generation and came away in full agreement with the author on this point:

"Don't become one of those people who can't work a digital camera, set your cell phone voicemail or program your DVR. Be current. Stay relevant. Try new things."

I can't begin to tell you how often I talk to my generational peers and they automatically dismiss Facebook and other Web 2.0/social media components as "rubbish" or "nonsense." Or they mention their struggle with trying to achieve some mastery of the basic fundamentals of these programs.

Much of what I am seeing is a sense that they are "too old" to learn new skills or as one person told me via email, "I'm just too old for Facebook."

Nonsense. Many know that when a new member joins Geneabloggers over on Facebook, I reach out and make sure that the newbies not only learn all about the various Geneabloggers features and events, but I also ask if they need any Facebook help and recommend that they visit Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers.

I get no greater joy than to hear comments such as, "My granddaughter can't believe her grandmother is now on Facebook," or "I can't wait to embarass my teenage daughter by being on Facebook."

For years as a computer trainer I've held this opinion: I'd rather have someone with a positive attitude than aptitude. Meaning I'd much rather work with a person who is receptive to learning new skills than someone who comes in and thinks they know everything, even to the point of self-doubt as to their capabilities.

Don't let people convince you out of trying your hand at Facebook or Twitter or other web-based social media applications. For many people of my generation, these programs have become lifelines and have allowed them to interact with others who hold similar interests. And as members of Geneabloggers will tell you, when you find a supportive community such as ours, it is easy to ask for help - just ask and you shall receive!


Andrea Christman said...

I work with teachers in a high school and I love your comment preferring "attitude" over "aptitude"! I AGREE! I am going to share this post with the staff development teacher in my building!

Ginger Smith said...

I was also hesitant to join facebook last year and dismissed it as being only for the young - ie, college and high school students and I am only 32 years old. Since I joined last year facebook went from having only 4 of my 450 highschool schoolmates to having over 50 after Christmas! It is definitely catching on! I love facebook. I read every status that comes through my feed on a daily basis and I have met so many new friends and kept in touch with long distant relatives. And I have loved the geneablogging community!

Becky Jamison said...

The elderly who are home alone and can't socialize can benefit greatly from the socialization of Facebook! Let's spread the word to these forgotten people and help them get on Facebook. My dad is 87 and checks his Facebook wall before breakfast every morning! He loves hearing from someone or reading what others are doing. And he's made lots of friends. It keeps his spirits up. Facebook is for the elderly too!

RBJames said...

It was the Family Tree application on facebook that led me to join facebook. And now that application has morphed a couple of times and seems to be improving.
I've been hesitant to make many comments on the items that I read, but this so resonates with my own viewpoint that I couldn't resist.
Like Andrea, I used to lead in-service classes for teachers, about when Apples first came on the scene, and often had to struggle to get the secondary teachers to explore this new thing. The elementary teachers had no problem, being quite willing to make mistakes if that helped the learning process.
Anyway, now I feel like the new learner and am having a ball! Thanks for what you all are doing here.