I launched this blog just about a month ago in hopes of creating an outlet through which I could express my thoughts and share my art. So far, I’m not disappointed. I never would have guessed that I’d have 350 visits to my site, get a few comments and subscriptions and actually meet some wonderful talented artists in other parts of the country and world, all within the first month. I’m a happy camper. On the other hand, I’ve learned that having a “build it and they will come” attitude is a business model doomed to fail. Floating a blog into cyberspace without taking action to drive traffic to it would be kind of like putting a lemonade stand on an iceberg. And so, along with the blog came the realization that this 50 year old must jump on the social networking bandwagon and start beating the drum.
I can’t say that the process has been painless. I have adamantly resisted facebook since it’s inception, joining only to spy on my kids and viewing the concept suspiciously, perhaps as a tool of “big brother”, the KGB or the CIA. And Twitter, I really had no idea what it could possibly be used for other than to follow the likes of Charlie Sheen over a cliff. In one short month, I have gone from zero to over 300 Twitter Followers and it is thanks to thirsty Tweeters that I’ve had to order another load of lemonade.
It has been wisely stated the “the one thing in life that is constant is change”, a truth best remembered by us mid-lifers as we try to figure out where we fit in to the new world. The rules have changed, not for the first time and not for the last. We are the only group of people in the history of Mankind to experience life before and after the invention of the personal computer and the internet and that makes us special, but it does not make us unique. Every since the discovery of fire and perhaps long before that, each generation of Mankind has laid claim to the ingenuity required to adapt as the wheel of invention turned.
Yes, the rules have changed. In the United States, masses of boomers and thirteeners are doing the “dog paddle” after swimming hard for decades toward islands that no longer exist. World wide, our contemporaries are experiencing the same growing pains at the same time as us. Thanks to the advent of the internet, we now belong to common human generation. So what can we do to adapt to the new rules and find a new path to prosperity? From a “big picture” vantage point, it is my opinion that there are simply three things that we need to do to succeed.
- Keep your sense of humor. Many of us find ourselves coming home to a proverbial empty kitchen as the character George did in the movie “Pleasantville”. “Where is my dinner?” we ask, and there is not a meatloaf in sight. Can you keep a straight face watching William H. Macy expectantly say “ Honey, I’m Home” and “Where is My Dinner”? Then why not get a chuckle out to the bizarre twist in the road of mankind that we are learning to negotiate? The truth is, feeling sorry for our-selves will not produce anything good. Finding humor in our plight is an outward expression of our acceptance of it.
- Open your mind. Yes the younger generations seem to have an unfair advantage when it comes to social networking, they have been doing it their entire lives. But, I believe we older folks have the advantage in finding the most effective ways of using the technology, after all we have been around the block a few times and experience still matters. Yes the rules have changed, but we can still find the “meatloaf”, or something better!
- Get Busy. There are other islands out there, better than the ones we sought before but we will never get to them unless we start swimming. If you haven’t already done so, start a blog, open a facebook account, tweet your heart out, all the while keeping your goals in sight. Something that most of us have learned in our years on this earth is that “You Can’t Go Back”. Which means that if we want to keep moving, we must move forward.