Tweeters and Boomers

Tweeters and Boomers?

Because I am taking a class in social media, I need to ponder what exactly social media is, why I do or don’t use it, and how it impacts my life. I don’t think email or Googling news sites necessarily counts as social media, but that, other than a very minimal, somewhat lame use of Facebook is the extent to which I use it. I think I have a generational disconnect from the desire, need, or reason to use many of the tools associated with social media. But, I could learn to appreciate the usefulness of it when it comes to finding my way through our new political reality.

If I had children and grandchildren, I most likely would not be so out of the loop. But I am, along with the majority of my ‘boomer’ friends. Which is another situation that impacts my use of social media. We just don’t connect that way, or so I thought until I read this article from 2014 which presents an interesting review of the generational use of social media.

But I do question many of the conclusions stated in this article. For one reason, the majority of this article presents small, confined boxes describing large swathes of the population and could present questionable conclusions. I did find it interesting that according to this article, Boomers, those of us born from 1946-1964, tweet more times a day than Millennials (born after 1981) and GenX’ers (1965-1980). News to me!

Photo by Andreas Eldh

That is definitely not my experience, and gives reason to explore more about generational use of social media, and what advantages there could be in using it.

I honestly think my current use of digital ways of gathering news and info about popular culture has had a negative impact on my attention span, and willingness to follow through with a long read on-line. I use to regularly buy the weekly news magazines, Time, Newsweek, USA Today, and usually read cover to cover. Scrolling around on line, I now find myself getting the initial gist of a subject and then scanning on for more. I can’t say that with my method, I am any better informed than I was in the past. And maybe I am less informed because of the ‘bubble’ I chose to inhabit.

I also sense a disconnect in my willingness to settle in with a book. It is easier just to scroll through the plethora of news to get nothing more than that initial gist. And the book stacks next to my easy chair and bed, have steadily declined. This, for me, is a problem. I’m very curious about how the Millennials or GenXers have adapted. That is something I would like to understand more thoroughly through this Social Media class.