Possibly the most famous advertising headline in history starts “They laughed when I sat down at the piano…”
Sometimes I get a similar reaction when I break out my smart phone to check Facebook or post a tweet. Well, they don’t laugh (out loud, anyway) but the looks on some younger faces reflects a level of incredulity and my older peers just shake their heads and mutter something about trying to recapture my youth. It seems a widely held opinion that a 60-something has no business in the realm of social media.
Actually, statistics show that Facebook is garnering quite a following among the more “mature” audience. I can’t help but think that Pinterest is probably going to catch on as well. Seniors still in the workforce, especially those in executive capacities, are drawn to LinkedIn. Twitter seems to still appeal more to a younger audience.
I recently did a communications presentation for church leadership, introducing many of them to social media. The reception was a little lukewarm until I pointed out that they have to stay in touch with their congregations and they have to do it in a way that is relevant and valid in today’s culture. Mailing out printed bulletins still works, but it’s expensive and many members prefer their information delivered in a digital format with flexibility for frequent updates. Blogs, Facebook pages, email and texting are becoming very popular because that’s the way people communicate. Some of them even admitted they had learned – out of self-defense – to text, while others just complained that conversation was a dying art and what’s wrong with TALKING on a phone? Isn’t that what they’re for?!?!?
I went away not convincing everyone, but it certainly made them start thinking. Hopefully they’ll eventually warm to the idea.
I’d also like to get folks in the ag community to start thinking about digital communication as well. Lauren Chase, media coordinator with the Montana Stockgrowers Association has mentioned more than once that she’d like to get more of her members involved in Social Media. I keep telling her that peer example is the best method.
So, here’s where I appeal to you. Are you or do you know someone who’s over, say, 55 (and willing to admit it) and is using Facebook and Twitter or is writing a blog? You don’t have to be a “power user,” just the occasional post. I’d like to hear from you. I’d like to have some examples of veteran farmers and ranchers who, like me, think it’s important to share their story.
I want to show folks that it’s not that hard, it doesn’t require an unreasonable amount of time and you might just find you enjoy doing it.
What do you say? There’s a lot of wisdom out there that needs to be shared. Will you help me try to open those lines of communication? Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start the conversation.