Social media is not ageist
It’s a quarter past nine on a Monday morning. You’re back in school. At your desk. And the lesson is History.
Mrs Williams – or whatever your history teacher was called – is talking. You’re not really listening. Your thoughts are elsewhere. The weekend’s activities perhaps. Or what you’re going to have for lunch. In other words it’s a typical history lesson.
But then your brain clicks into gear. Not quite sure why. Maybe it’s a particular word. The tone of Mrs Williams’s voice? Or possibly the flight of the blackboard eraser that just whizzes past your left ear. Mine was a tough school.
Anyway, this is what you hear.
“The Luddites were 19th-century English textile workers who protested against newly developed labour-economising technologies, primarily between 1811 and 1816.”
Wow! That’s something. These Luddites protested against progress. Some, not you of course, might argue they were the forerunners of today’s Len McCluskey.
And your mind wanders again. If the Luddites had been successful you think, we wouldn’t have cars or television or computers.
Enough nostalgia. Come back to now. If you’re in business or an employee you can’t afford to be a Luddite in todays working environment. You’d be bankrupt or jobless before you could say Arthur Scargill.
And yet according to a survey by marketing consultancy Weber Shandwick only 10% of the bosses running the world’s largest companies regularly tweet.
And the reason, in the opinion of Robert Glaesener who runs the Twitter analytics firm Talkwalker, is because most of them are aged between 50 and 60 and they’re simply too old to understand social media fully.
Well on reading that I nearly threw my Zimmer frame through the window. I was up my Stannah Lift to my office before you could say Saga.
What drivel. Nonsense. Hogwash and I won’t have it.
Those of us of a certain, how shall I say, experience, are among the keenest exponents of today’s technologies. We make it our daily business to learn, understand and work it.
Social media is one of the most remarkable developments of the modern age. And without a doubt it’s going to get bigger and play a more important role in our lives.
I don’t claim to be an expert. In fact I’ve yet to meet anyone who truly is. But I know how to operate it and help clients increase their business profile and client base by getting involved.
Every generation will have its small proportion of Luddites. But don’t tar everyone with the same brush Mr Glaesener.
We of the experience age group are highly active in social media and beyond. It’s fascinating, fun and full of possibility.
More and more of us are at it. And I guarantee if you carry out a second survey in 2 years time your results will be significantly different.
The experience age group - I like that! I think it's the immediacy of social media that might deter some folk - a fear that, if they press the wrong button, the computer will blow-up. I'd like to add my voice to your call for more experienced people to join in.