If you’re a baby boomer, you already know a lot about how to be social. For instance, would I have to ask you twice what the “magic words” are? Would you know what elements make a good letter? Could you go on a picnic and just be at the picnic, without having to whip out an electronic device? There you go! Each one of these instances is a good reason why you, as a Boomer, is a perfect candidate for social media. Here’s a funny article about the differences between baby boomers and Gen Y.
Let me backtrack a bit by saying that I meet Baby Boomers all the time who feel insecure about social media. I think it doesn’t have to be that way. They think they have nothing to say, and yet they have more experience than younger people, and have been through all kinds of economic downturns, changes in employment, divorce, and much more. So of course you as a Boomer have something to say. The issue may be that you feel insecure around younger people who have grown up with Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and YouTube. And if you’re a Boomer connected on social media, I like Brian Solis’ “Gen C” label.
The Magic Words
Most Boomers know how to use the words “please” and “thank you,” and they know when. Believe me, (please), when I tell you that saying “thank you” is very important. In a world of ingratitude, your thank you means so very much. Maybe good manners can be taught at a later age, but since you probably already have good manners, you have an edge on social media, so that isn’t an issue.
Writing a Letter
Another skill that many Boomers have is the ability to write a letter–a skill that can be transferred to writing email, a blog, crafting a few Facebook posts, or tweeting. Seriously. The ability to write in one form can easily be transferred to another. So you have the edge there, too.
Going on a Picnic
Now this one might sound a little strange to you. But the ability to just talk without checking an electronic device is getting more and more rare. The other day, with some of my friends, I realized that no one had checked in, tweeted, posted, or made a video for a couple of hours. Weird, right?! And how wonderful to just have a conversation without thinking it might end up being posted on someone’s wall.
Drive Your Online Conversations Offline
It’s great to meet people online, but there is really no substitute for meeting people face to face and having an actual conversation. And that is where baby boomers really shine. Having grown up without cell phones, tablets, and laptops, boomers know how to talk! Because if you really needed to talk to someone, you’d go over to their house and knock on their door. Who does that any more? So take those conversations offline where you’re really comfortable.
Social Media is Just Tools
Really. Social media is bits and bytes, but in the end, it’s just a tool. You can meet and talk to a lot of people (sometimes all at once) using social media. But if you think of social media as something like a telephone or another appliance to be learned, maybe the intimidation factor will go away. Because as a Boomer you already have the tools you need. Don’t you?