November 28, 2010

Social Media

Social Media has been on the table the last few days.

At Thanksgiving, my sister's use of Facebook to keep tabs on her eldest (1/2 a country away as a college freshman) was bantered about - her son refuses to friend her, although has let in an uncle. So she keeps in touch via text message and skype. We were teasing her as a "stalker" although my niece used the perhaps trendier word creeper. She's not really that much of a helicopter mom, but a mom cannot help herself. We were laughing at what our mom would have done had she had access to such technology when we were in school - no cell phones even back then, and no land lines in the dorm, so we had to rely on the catch as catch can payphone in the dorm hallway.

Then at the reunion, a clear line of demarcation between those who have embraced social media (a handful) and those who have not. Interesting. I'm on the cutting edge, I suppose, at least for my age group (surely not in general) - part of my work involves staying abreast of such things for tourism and small business concerns, I've been blogging in one for or another since 2002, and have had an online presence (personal essays, business) long before that. And my social network skews younger and hipper - folks without land lines, who text first rather than call, who have less concern about privacy.

Being self employed helps - my clients come and go, but I am not wholly dependent on one entity for financial survival. So a lot less concern about propriety and discretion. And in some ways, all of my online presence is a marketing campaign for my brand - my self. My music, my balloon chasing, my yoga teaching, my writing - all of these little bits of renaissance me stirred into one gumbo.

In some ways perhaps I am a bridge figure, between we oldsters coming to terms with the new media, and the young guns who do not know anything different. Not fully embracing the technology but exploring it's capabilities and seeding the potential within my generation.

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