At a lunch the other day, someone wanted to know how many of us (all seniors) were computer literate and active on Facebook. We had an impressive show of hands.
Of course some of us know enough just to get by. I grope my way a lot, while others have had “tutorials” from techies. When I am in trouble I call the kids. Grand or great-grand!
My cousin is brilliant in this area. Now in her 70s, she has the latest gadgets, knows exactly what these can do, is aware of how many megabytes per second (mbps) her provider promises, and gets on their case when they deliver less. I am in awe.
It is interesting to note that some of the ladies seemed hesitant to admit they had joined social media, and it looked like they felt a need to explain, even apologize, for “wasting precious time” on such things. I thought, how silly. Don’t they know this makes us super-lolas?
Like me, there were a few in the group who were delighted and weighed in openly about their new discovery.
“It’s never too late to learn,” one declared. “Amazing how much information there is when you surf the Net. Google is smarter than Siri.”
Someone asked who Siri was. One candidly confessed that it was the only way to know what her children and grandchildren were up to. She giggled: “I feel like a stalker.”
I remember my grand entrance into Facebook. I had given it much thought. My children and grandchildren were in it. So I decided, “Why not?” And I became one of over a billion users of the largest social network worldwide.
Looking at the stats, one would think that the entry of one more subscriber would make no waves. Wrong.
I got a tsunami. There was immediate reaction. First someone greeted me with a virtual rose bouquet.
And then it came. A post came up in big bold capital letters. “Abandon ship! Mom/Lola’s on board! Watch what you say!”
It was my third-born firing warning salvos, giving everyone related to me a chance to grab their life jackets or disembark.
I didn’t think it was funny. But everyone in the family had a good laugh. That was a couple of years ago, and I am happy to report that I haven’t been all that bad.
On the plus side, I now know where the kids are, with whom, and what they are doing—all without having to ask.
I do think, however, there is too much information on Facebook. I read some of it and ask, “Who cares?” But it does keep you in the loop.
Coming to ‘terms’
What is it that makes each generation think so poorly of the one that follows? We think they are weird, or wild, out of control. So not like us!
I remember my parents thinking that, and we rolled our eyes at them.
Then came my turn to gasp. Now I hear it from my children. Nothing changes. Back then they were oldies. Today we are Jurassic.
There are more “designations.”
People born between 1930 and 1946 belong to the Greatest Generation. I take a bow. My thanks go to American television journalist Tom Brokaw who made that distinction.
After World War II, with everyone on a post-war high, the Census Bureau called the young generation born 1946 to 1964 the “Baby Boomers.”
Political writer Philip Bump explains, “It began when the Greatest Generation got home and started having sex with everyone; it ended when having sex with everyone was made easier with The Pill.”
Then came Generation X. George Masnick of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies calls this period between 1965 and 1984 “the baby bust.”
No one talks about Generation Y. They say it was just a made-up thing.
Today we have the Millennials, born between 1982 and 2004. According to researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss, they make up “the next great generation.”
Matt Kleinschmit, senior vice president and general manager of Vision Critical’s Integrated Consumer Retail and Shopper Practice, brings them into focus.
He writes that because of the recession of 2008, millennials in America moved back in with their parents; that even when the economy rebounded, they were cautious.
Here at home, our children stay connected to the parental home longer, some indefinitely. I guess Pinoy apron strings are harder to sever.
Studies by Goldman Sachs reveal that millennials marry later, in their 30s, and put off having children. They love videos and are more likely to engage on social media, are iffy about banks and more comfortable online.
The millennial lifestyle is still evolving. It does not follow tradition and seems to ignore footprints left by older generations. They consider Christmas more cultural than religious. Wellness is a constant concern. Interestingly, so are power naps.
In my enormous brood I have Boomers, Xers and millennials. What a mix! No wonder our gatherings are so much fun!
I came across a post from a favorite cousin-in-law. Written by Louis M. Profeta, MD, an emergency physician, author and public speaker on the topic of Spirituality in Medicine. The title of the piece is “I Know You Love Me—Now Let Me Die.”
This is important. Do yourselves a favor. Read it.