Who’s an old person? Me.

Welcome to “Old people. New technology.” Many wouldn’t consider 36 to be old, but for the sake of this blog, I’ll illustrate why I feel qualified to be blogging as such:

  1. I remember making popcorn sans microwave, with this:Photo of old Jiffy Pop popcorn
  2. I laid out my high school yearbook and college newspaper like this:PasteUp
  3. And my first “cell phone” was this:Pager

However, I am also someone who learned how to type, very fast, using the first version of AOL Instant Messenger.

When MySpace launched, I embraced it to flaunt my college life, boast my achievements, post my best airbrushed pics, and stalk my ex-boyfriends (and sometimes my current boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends).

I moved on to Facebook when I realized how much time I would save in my week if I no longer had to agonize over choosing between “floral,” “logo” or “photographic” MySpace profile backgrounds. I was initially bummed though when I found out Facebook couldn’t accommodate a “theme song” for my profile like MySpace could. I quickly got over that, realizing that choosing an appropriate theme song to reflect my mood only took up additional hours. And apparently, Facebook is also for stalkers, so I’m still covered there. Whew.

When my professional life got impressive enough, I dove into LinkedIn. I’m so glad that I got on that bandwagon early. I started with a basic resume and a few jobs and contacts, and LinkedIn was simpler at its inception. But, for someone starting a new LinkedIn profile today, there are so many options and fields it’s comparable to an eHarmony screening that can last hours if not days (don’t ask how I know that). However, of all social media, I find this one to be the most valuable for business and I look forward to writing about LinkedIn and how to use it for your own personal benefit and growth, as well as for the benefit of your present company, on this blog.

And then there’s Twitter. As the PR and Marketing Director for a college, I manage our social media sites, including Twitter. I’ve established our presence and am working to grow our followers and engagement every day. I’ve used it to publicize events. I’ve “hashtag planted.” I’ve tweeted to celebrities and had them re-tweet my posts to hundreds of thousands of followers. I’ve taught local Chamber of Commerce members how to use Twitter for business and college faculty how to integrate Twitter into their courses. However, I have never had a personal Twitter account… until recently.

A member of my statewide professional group for PR leaders asked, “the queen of social media doesn’t have her own Twitter account?” He was (sarcastically, I’m sure) shocked.

“Ok, ok, I’ll set one up,” I agreed. I’ll set one up, I thought, but it cannot suck. My whole “queen of social media” image depended on it! What was I going to tweet about that was profound, life-changing, Gandhi-like? I decided that spurting out 140-character random statements just wouldn’t be enough. I needed room for some meat to go along with those potatoes. This blog is the meat. My tweets are the potatoes. Together, I hope they make a nice (and fatty) mid-western American meal.

Now  for the technical: My intention with this blog “Old people. New Technology.” is to reflect on real-world uses and users of technology, including social media and apps. Much of my “research” (and I use that word loosely) is done through observation and use. I am a user–an old user. I observe what my “old” colleagues and friends do (both good and bad). I report back. I also use my husband’s high school students (he is a teacher) as focus groups. Those responses are always entertaining. I’ve always wished I had somewhere to share them. Now, I do. For example, I gave a class of 17 year old students a list of popular Apps and Social Media sites and asked them to give me their honest, one-line opinion/description of them. What I got back goes something like this:

  1. Facebook: Lame, Don’t use it, Stupid
  2. Snapchat: 10 seconds of heaven
  3. LinkedIn: What’s that?

More on that highly scientific survey later…along with other posts that you, as an old person, can relate to.