Preaching to the Tech Choir

The blog Dangerously Irrelevant compares the phrases “I’m not good at math” with “I’m not good at computers” and wonders why the second one is so much more acceptable.  I concur.

I’m completely boggled when I meet fiercely intelligent, energetic, involved, interested, and interesting people and then hear them say something like “I don’t do computers.”  Boggled.

boys choir by saikofish on Flickr
boys choir by saikofish on Flickr

When I hear something to the effect of, “I’m over 30, I’m not a computer person,” it translates into two messages:

The first says, “I make excuses,” and it’s disappointing.

The second says “I don’t value anything you say via computer or about computers,” and it’s insulting.

I’m smiling at the irony of posting this on my blog.

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Facebook is Not a Mini-Skirt

I was talking to my mom about Facebook the other day.  She said she’s not on it because it would be creepy and tacky if she were.  It’s not for middle-aged women, it’s for young people.

She said that when she was younger, she would see middle-aged women wearing mini-skirts as though by wearing the clothes of young people they could be young again.  They thought it was working.  She said it was kind of horrifying to see, and that she swore that when she hit middle-age she wouldn’t do ridiculous, age-inappropriate things as some sort of weird effort to hang on to her youth.

I very much respect that my mother doesn’t wear mini-skirts, and I really appreciate being around someone who was stoked to turn 50 and who fully embraces and celebrates her age.

But mom, Facebook is not like a mini-skirt.  It is not just for kids.  Yes, it’s possible to use it distastefully, i.e. friending 13-year-olds you don’t know, or posting pictures of you and dad totally wasted.  But you can use it to connect with old friends from previous jobs and schools, to support causes you believe in, and to keep with your daughters’ profiles!  It can really be useful for anybody.

I think that’s one of the beauties of social media in general – you can use it to act your age.

If it’s not like a mini-skirt, what would you liken it to?  How does the message of welcome get to people who think this is not for them?