Despite Boomer evidence to the contrary, some people, mostly marketing specialists, still contend that after youth, people become stuck. They cling to the familiar. They don’t change toothpastes or cereal. They avoid anything new. But that is so last century, back before the likes of Facebook, iPhones, Twitter and …let me add, Zumba.
Earlier this year came the report that women age 55 and over make up the fastest growing user population on Facebook which made people like me want to give a high-five for being so “in.” Or did our joining mean Facebook was fading? Oh no. Boomers on board. Trend over. But, Facebook still thrives, as a homey blend of young people and aging groupies, kind of like a Bruce Springsteen audience.
It took me a while to sign up. Posting about your everyday life and aimless thoughts seemed so self-absorbed. But who was I kidding. I’m a columnist and a blogger. I’m already self-absorbed. Okay, but I am holding the line at Tweeting although I just read that Twitter, too, is being taken over by grown-ups.
For me joining Facebook was like going to a high school reunion, hooking up with old friends and getting to see what they look like after all these years. I’ve reconnected now with friends from high school and college days but my big score is finding a grade school friend from Hamden, Conn. who remembers stories about my family and the name of my first dog. She and I have now moved off Facebook into regular email so we can have more privacy. And we’ve even advanced to talking on the telephone.
Facebook is also a way of staying connected to popular culture. Not everyone thinks that is vital. Leave these new devices to the young, they say. But even if you don’t invest time and money in the latest trend or social networking gadget, don’t you want to be aware of them? At least enough to get the references in New Yorker cartoons.
One thing we’ve happily proven in all this is that technology is our world too. You don’t have to have a young brain or know how to type with your thumbs to play. If you can figure out how to reserve a library book online, you can Facebook.
And if you ever did Jazzercise you can Zumba. I know that’s a leap but trying out new moves is another way of keeping up.
We don’t want to be rhythmically challenged anymore than we want to be technically locked out.
Just as with Facebook, I came late to Zumba, the workout craze that combines Latin and African dance steps with good old aerobic moves. But I like the idea of mambo in the morning and the music alone makes you sweat. All body types and ages are welcome, at least at my gym, although there are definite differences in skill level.
The enthusiastic bodies in the front row are so sleek and agile they could be dancing on a table top in Rio with roses in their teeth. The rest of us are happy just to know our shimmy still works.