Friday, June 5, 2015

October connecting -- It's a new world

Hey there, October friends. Welcome to the twenty-first century. You’ve heard the news, haven’t you? We live in a new and “connected” age. Obviously you’re connected enough to be online. That’s how you’re reading this. But beyond that, how connected are you? Have you become one of those social media types?
Though not all October folks will admit it, I decided a while back that it was time for me to come out of the closet. It was time to reconnect with my family and friends---via Facebook. It was our daughter-in-law’s idea. She assured us that “it’s the best way to keep track of your kids and grandkids.” How could we argue with that?
Of course, at our age we should have realized there are times to be careful what we wish for. True, we are “keeping track” of our extended family and other friends more than ever. That’s a fact. And it’s fun to read about them and what they’re up to, especially the grandkids---with their awards, achievements, and fun. 
Yet on the other hand, how much do we need to know about their tantrums, tattoos, and wild parties? So far we’ve been able to bite our tongue in the face of our “When I was a kid” objections. A good thing too. There are too many things about my own adolescent times I simply don’t remember any more. That too is probably a good thing.
But we've also found that the benefits of connectivity go far beyond our amazing grandchildren. We've heard about, and visited with, friends and acquaintances we might never have connected with any other way. That seems to me a blessing.
Of course, things change quickly in today’s cyber-world. The experts tell us the younger generation is rapidly deserting Facebook. Why is that? Well, it seems there are too many parents and grandparents listening in on their conversations, and they don’t appreciate that. As a result they are moving on to more confidential online meeting sites---places that you and I don’t know about.
  Does that mean we, the October generation, are winning the Facebook war simply by showing up" Probably not. But after hearing that October folks, the ones I want to visit with, are becoming a larger part of the Facebook audience, I wondered if I ought to expand my Facebook involvement. 
I let that possibility percolate for a few days, making notes on how I might do that. Before long I was dealing with an interesting new possibility. Specifically---what if I extended the reach of my October Years blog to include Facebook---with its enhanced opportunities for an actual dialogue with October folks about topics that matter to them.
At first I thought in terms of Facebook posts that featured entries from my October Years blog, like the one you're reading right now. But with so many other seniors adding their voices to the internet these days in the form of blogs, articles, photos, and videos, there is more worthwhile content out there than any of us will ever see. Why not spice up my October Years Facebook page with October-oriented material from those other sources, interspersed with my own blog material? 
For instance, why not a blog post about “Cyber-seniors”---one that features this video about Cyber-seniors? When I received this clip in a recent email it seemed to fit perfectly in a discussion of being connected. It’s a fun look at ways to help unconnected seniors expand their reach and stay in touch. I hope you’ll check it out.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had other reasons to consider an expanded Facebook presence. I now have eleven books on Amazon---recounting my personal interpretations of October life and relationships. If a Facebook connection helps make more folks aware of those stories, I can deal with that.
One last disclaimer. Not everyone is a Facebook person. Some of you have made the conscious choice not to be a part of that space. That’s fair. But even so, I hope you'll take a moment to check out the video noted above. It does not require a Facebook account. Simply click on the highlighted “Cyber-seniors” link. If it’s not for you, perhaps what you see could be of interest to someone you know. Perhaps you have a special October friend who might enjoy it. If so, I hope you will pass it on. Finally, if you'd like to follow this October Years blog I hope you'll add it to the list of sites you visit periodically. As always, I welcome your comments.

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