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A few years ago, most women in their 40's were not very computer savvy. Sure, we could send and receive e-mail, and maybe even share a photo online. But when it came to understanding the newer technologies - such as using social networks to make connections, share information and build relationships - most of us had no clue.
Fortunately, we fabulous 40-ers catch on quick! Women around the world are now embracing social networking technologies in record numbers, a trend borne out by the explosive growth of fabulously40.com in the past year. It's interesting to see how this phenomenon has become an integral part of our daily lives.
This morning when I went to work out, I purposely left my cell phone in the car in order to enjoy a "tech-free" hour. But as I huffed and puffed away on the Stairmaster, I couldn't help but notice how technology has become pervasive even in the gym.
All around me, women were emailing, texting and twittering, simultaneously sweating and staying connected without missing a beat. And as some are learning the hard way, this approach to getting fit is not without risk. Our gym has a policy that prohibits speaking on cell phones, but you are free to text and twitter away at will. One woman on an elliptical trainer lost her balance and nearly fell by focusing a bit too much on her digital conversation. She avoided a nasty spill by grabbing the handrail at the last second, but despite the risk to life and limb she never let go of her phone!
As I pumped away, blissfully unencumbered by any technology device, my mind drifted back to the advice and information I recently received from some very successful people on how to better market my business. Although their advice was valuable, it was outdated and couldn't compare to the tips I received from a much younger demographic that keeps their finger on the pulse of the newest trends.
For example, in one short session Jenn Van Grove, an editor at Mashable.com, was able to take us "elders" (most in the audience were 35 and over) through the basics of twitter 101 and give us a glimpse of what it would take to master this remarkable tool. Everyone in the audience was in awe of Twitter's ability to quickly disseminate information in cyber space. From insignificant trivia to earth-shaking information, nothing can get the word out quite like Twitter.
Then on the weekend I met with my daughter's friend, Ryan. Reading Ryan's blog made me cringe at first, then it made me smile. Much of what he says is true, but only someone in his demographic can say it the way he does and get away with it. Ryan had fantastic ideas about marketing, and in just 30 minutes came back with more feedback and information than I could actually take down on paper.
Throughout my morning workout I replayed and re-evaluated all the information I had received. I couldn't help thinking that times sure have changed, and the experts are now our kids and their friends. I will still be their mom, and I will continue to bust their chops and tell them what to do and how to do it. But now I'll be closely listening to what they have to say when it comes to marketing, technology and keeping up with the trends.
Can you say "role reversal?"