A couple of months ago I succumbed to my colleagues' "Friend" requests and activated my Facebook account. Since then I've put up my new professionally done color photo, plus some shots of me in action riding my horse, Diamond, along with my profile - all the fun things I do like write this blog, hosting a TV show, called "Alivelihood: New Careers As We Age," finishing my 2nd book, called Women Riders Who Could ... And Did, writing for ezines like WorkForce50 and Boomerous, and shepharding wonderful boomer(and older) like you into the retirement they want. I've amassed 100+ friends and growing daily.
I take a look at my WAll a couple of times per week and say "what's on my mind" or commend on others' posts. I'm careful to post onlky such items that I think my Friends would find interesting and useful, not mundane things, like "I had a great meal today."
I watched a hilarious video called "25 Things I Hate About Facebook" and I resonated with many. But, it has intrigued me, especially the inter-generational nature of the network. My step-grandson, age 13, is my Friend, as is my niece. Most of my friends are colleagues or people I've met through networking, teleclasses, and some have found me who are from decades past.
According to "Online, a Reason to Keep on Going," by Stephanie Clifford in the NYTimes, social networking sites are invaluable for isolated elders. Joseph Coughlin of AgeLab at MIT, was quoted as saying: "The new future of old age is about staying in society, staying in the workplace and staying very connected... ANd technology is going to be a very big part ... It provides a way tomake new connections... and a new sense of purpose."
Although some younger generations fear that boomers and older are taking over their sites, some are pleased to have their parents and grandparents connected to them in a new way. Parents can check in and see photos and goings-on of their children while away and still feel connected though not intrusive. In "Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook... " Robert Strohmeyer writes in PCWorld that Boomers are the fastest growing segment of social networking sites. Whether to join their kids, to feel young, out of curiosity, or out of a need to connect with others, social networking seems to be going strong for the likes of us.
What has your experience been like? Have you been invited by your kids to join? Are they leery and embarrassed about what you might say? Have you met people who've overstepped your boundaries -- childhood friends whom you no longer have anything in common with? Tell your story here by clicking on the comment button at the bottom of the post (on the web version).