My daughter has become a world traveler and in order to keep up with her, I have to stay in touch via social media. My kid rarely makes phone calls. Long gone are the AT&T “phone home” messages. They are now replaced by text messages, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Slack, Peach and other social media sites. And as a mom and a baby boomer I need to stay on top of this or risk not knowing what is happening in her life.
Fortunately, I am not alone. Forbes magazine pointed out most millenials rely on email, text messaging, instant messaging or social media to reach others on the job and in their daily lives. Millennials find phone calls intrusive and would rather we “get to the point” when communicating. And as the trend continues with younger generations, we need to remember that if we don’t learn to meet them where they are, we will be the ones out of the loop.
So where does that leave baby boomers? Well for me, it’s great. I would much rather we “get to the point,” but I am not the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the face-to-face interaction, but in a post on Campfire, Blair Blake points out why we should embrace social media. Blake tells us that keeping in touch, doesn’t mean the same as it did years ago, now we can keep in touch with a huge circle of friends and family at once. We can connect with like-minded individuals in our community, stay current on new and events, and be a selective about what information as we would like to see. Yet, despite all the positive benefits baby boomers are still hesitant to use social media, due to fears about privacy or having a post get you in trouble in the work place. The best thing to remember is there are tools in place to help you manage your privacy settings and the benefit of staying in touch with family and friends far out weighs the risks.
The reality is we are moving into the age of “The Jetson’s.“ And the future that Hanna Barbera saw when we were kids has come true.
That said, we as baby boomers need to remember we don’t need to know it all, however, to stay relevant we need to stay current, especially in the workplace. Most baby boomers are comfortable with smart phones, iPads, tablets, laptops, etc., so we should be thrilled new technologies can enhance our lives. There are apps to alert you if someone is in your home while you are at work and apps that make our work day more efficient. Forbes has created a list of 5 Great Apps to Turbocharge Your Day.
and these apps can help, not just baby boomers but everyone, do everything from plan your day, manage your passwords and improve meditation. Along with keeping your work life managed you can keep your personal life on track with apps to monitor your health, exercise and brain activity. With just a slight learning curve you could be on top of this technology game, what more could the active baby boomer need?
Looking back at “The Jetson’s” and comparing to what we have now, we should be excited about where it is all going. I know I am, and with the help of my daughter, I will try to stay relevant in the future. What we need from you non-boomers is a bit of patience while we figure this out and know that a friendly helping hand when we struggle can make all the difference.
What are your favorite technologies to use in the workplace? What do you do to stay current? Let me know.