What makes a person old? Is it the years they’ve been alive? Because ‘old lady’ does not come to mind when I see pictures of people like Tao Porchon-Lynch, Betty White at 95 or any number of dynamic, beautiful women celebrating big number birthdays… And yet this past week, at mere youthful age of 41* I have never felt more like an outdated, antique old fogey.
It’s Facebook that did it. Not comparing myself to everyone else’s airbrushed photos – I have long since stopped doing that. I mean, just trying to use Facebook.
In highschool, age 16, when the Russian computer geeks in my class advised me to get an email address, my reply was, “why bother, this whole World-Wide Web thing, is never going catch on!”
Yeh, that’s always kinda been my approach to technology. I get dragged along and swept into it, but usually only to a bare minimum level and always reluctantly. Don’t get me wrong. I love my computer – I learned to type on a type-writer so I totally appreciate the joys of Cut and Paste and the genius of Spell-check. And yes… I do send emails!
I have had a Facebook account for years but I can count the number of things I have ever posted there on one hand – always accompanied by a strange, uneasy feeling of shame or embarrassment as soon as I’ve done it. I occasionally look at other people’s postings – but have to limit it as every time I start scrolling down that feed list I enter a black-hole that literally sucks hours from me at warp-speed.
The thing is, I don’t want to stop my weekly column, even if the Gazette can’t publish it. So I figured I would post them on Facebook… which brings us to last week: setting up this new page, trying to assemble photos in Photoshop, figuring out how to post things so that people can actually see them, working out all the moving parts… I was like a monkey using power tools – it was painful and I’m sure would have been just sad to watch. I would say it was like I had a mental age of 6, but six-year-olds cope way better with technology than I!
My mother told me that in 1969, when she went to tell my then 90-year-old grandmother that men were about to walk on the moon, my grandmother replied, “switch the television off. I have seen enough in my lifetime, I don’t need to see that.” She was born in the 19th century for goodness sake, so perhaps she had a point?
But I, it seems, have adopted her same attitude to Social Media. I just haven’t wanted to know - tried to avoid the whole messy business if I could… but it turns out, I can’t. Not in the business that I’m in. Not if I want to stay current in the world as it is. I can have my opinions about how “the kids of today… blah, blah, blah,” but this is where the world is and if I’m not in it, I’m out of it: defunct, out-moded, old news.
Part of my aversion to it, I realize, is that I didn’t believe that I could learn it. That I’d ‘missed that boat’, that it was somehow ‘too complicated’ and I was too ‘past it’… but that is the fuddy-duddy mentality right there. If you think you’re too old, you are – whatever your years.
So I have decided instead to adopt a mantra from Bernice Bates, a yoga teacher in her nineties. “I can’t do that…YET,” she insists people say in her classes.
I am off to find some young whipper-snapper to teach me how this whole Social Media thing works… It may take a lot of tries and possible 100 years but I’ll get there… and even at 141, I’ll be all the younger for it.
Shying away from the world and what it throws at us only ages us before our time. Embracing life (and change) as the adventure it is, keeps us only growing bOlder!
* Yes, while I feel 41 is already a shockingly high number and I’m completely perplexed as to how I reached it, it nevertheless is still young compared to what I hope to live to…
Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441) 705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com
Julia is a trained Personal Development Coach, certified NLP Practitioner, writer and public speaker. Using coaching methods, tools and conversation, Julia helps her clients achieve the goals they set for themselves and transform their lives. Here she shares her own personal development journey on her life quest for authenticity, growth and having a good time!