Saturday, January 3, 2009

Taking Time Off

The idea of taking time off always sounds great but I find that time off just means not going to the office but not necessarily no work. I am in Boise, Idaho enjoying what my dear friend says is a "dry cold". Surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains and a wind that cuts through my layers of clothing, I am sitting here wondering how long I can type before I will have to wrap my hands around my cup of green ginseng and honey tea to get the feeling back in my fingers. I am grateful, though, that I am here and not living back east. Dry or wet, I don't do cold.

The good news is I have spent my "time off" reading and researching more about the social networking possibilities that bring you to me and me to you. Did you know that of the 78 million baby boomers in the US today, about 65 million are online? We account for one third (by the way that is the largest constituency) of the 195 million users. An impressive number.

From Facebook to MySpace, young people have dominated the social network but sites are being forced to shift to older users. Although only about 1 million of the 215 million social networkers who are regularly active are over 50 years old, the predictions are that by the end of the year that number could potentially explode to 20 million!

This is not the pen pal letter writing days we grew up with (my first pen pal was my cousin in Florida and we were 10 years old) but it serves the same function as we try to stay connected or reconnect with old friends and family. So as I sip my tea, warm my fingers and type this, I find the possibilities for this new social activity to be quite exciting, somewhat terrifying and definitely overwhelming.  You are definitely not alone anymore. Log on to and join the 100,000 members and prove to these 20 somethings that boomers are savvy tech users. That's what a wise grandma would do, even in a "dry" cold. Brrrrr!

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