He walked in, hunched over, carrying a cane, and had two turkey feathers tightly laced on to the right side of his worn leather cap. His fingers cracked and calloused. A bearded face hid a crooked smile, but he was too bent over to make eye contact.
As he slowly made his way, unnoticed amongst a busy crowd of event attendees, he walked past me, and sat comfortably down on a padded stiff legged chair. His jacket smelled of stale cigarette smoke. Maybe not a smoker himself, but possibly a jacket purchased from consignment. His shoes displayed the tattered soles that had seen miles upon miles of these small city streets.
The gentleman appeared to be in his seventies, but his years had taken their toll.
Today, he entered the public library on a mission. Even at this handicapped pace, you could still tell he was heading has fast as he could toward something that brought him great joy.
Now nestled in behind the keyboard, he preceded to do something that astonished me. I wasn’t completely blown away, but this was the first time I witnessed this action by someone of this man’s demographic.
He typed in the address bar… www.Facebook.com.
My dramatic beginning to this post was for pure entertainment, and literary description. I wanted you to get a feel for the man’s appearance and age. This story is entirely true, and in no way fabricated for effect.
I was probably staring a little too long, because I noticed some passerby’s looking at me like I was violating the man’s privacy. But I couldn’t help wonder what he would comment on, the pictures he would view, or what he would post.
As an online/social media marketer, I hear all too often, “Social media is for young kids, and plays no role in business! Plus, I’m too old to even begin to understand how it works.”
While some of the people I come in contact with fail to see the business advances to be made by engaging on social media, I feel you are never too old to enjoy the benefits associated with keeping contact.
That was precisely what this man was doing in the public library on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. He was commenting on a picture of what appeared to be a newborn baby. Maybe a granddaughter or grandson. He might have been the child’s great uncle. Or, it might have been an old war buddy that posted a picture of a new addition to his family.
Whatever the child’s link to this old man, in that moment, social media proved its weight in tears.
How often are we separated from loved ones, and have no way to be there for beautiful events like a new birth, or a death in the family? Travel expenses are through the roof, and gas prices are creeping higher and higher. Without the advancement of technology, how else would men like this keep in touch, or share a congratulations to a distant friend?
Think what you want about sites like Facebook, but never take for granted the ability to socialize.
My generation is often referred to as “Generation ME”. A generation that cares only about themselves, and leaves little left for those that matter most. Constantly engaged behind our computer screen, we are labeled as introverts, or socially inept.
I strongly disagree with this stigma. Social media was rocketed by Baby Boomers, and continues to thrive by millions of logons everyday, from people of all ages.
We live in a social world!
Not your typical dinner party social, but social nonetheless.
Take advantage of technology. You never know what you are missing until you seek it out.
Andy Sokolovich is the owner of small business marketing firm Bent Business Marketing. He can be reached at andy.sokolovich@BentBusinessMarketing.com.