Category Archives: AARP

My Tech Ears Are On #AmWriting

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I was just thinking…  Years ago, I told my daughter that she had two ears for one very good reason, to listen to what she was being told.

Quite easily, I manipulated the technical position of being the parent to instill my belief system into my child.  Doesn’t mean I was correct, or as my experiences changed that I would self-adjust and change my perspective of the world.  But most importantly, if I did change would I remember to tell her?  Was there some automated tech system like HootSuite in place that would magically transfer my new point of view?

As we grew older, she became more flexible and I became more rigid.  It seemed that my format had changed and I went from a JPEG to a PDF way of communication.  This was a tremendous trade-off, as I was no longer morally required to show my good intentions by my actions.

In order for her to hear me, she would also have to hear her own inner voice.  This created a major communication gap that we’re still trying to overcome.  No matter how loud she yells, I sincerely hope that she herself.  That she might know what she’s saying, because I’m going to defy logic and invoke my parental power, that is I disengage and stop listening.

Simply put, I’ve turned on my selective hearing and I’ve adjusted the volume knob to mute.  And it’s a very methodical process, as I’ve been overwhelmed by social media lately and unable to understand how everything that I once cherished and held dear, is now being threatened by people I will never meet.

I’m reminded of when my daughter was a little girl, I’d tell her that the reason she was born with two working ears was so one ear could take information in, to be be processed by her brain- the grey matter between her ears- and the second ear would be an exit point for the excess, less useful information to be dumped out.

In my own defense, back then I worked two jobs, cooked all the family meals, did laundry and was a chauffer to pretty socially active kids.  In direct proportion to my overworked, underpaid position in life…  I had perfected a deaf ear, as my complaints were ignored, I lost my ability to have a sympathetic ear.

Fast forward to today’s hyper-connected culture, where people’s expectations are always on high and soaring.  Where users are quick to retaliate against what they dislike, to mobilize their followers and block, boycott and shut down someone else’s means to a livelihood.  From the safety of my couch, I’ve read what people are hearing on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook and it’s alarming.

So, I’ve decided to pull back a little.  To reduce my daughter’s angst, because no one is immune to anxiety.  I’ve also apologized in advance of my shortcomings, I’ve let her have the last word during our weekly arguments, which almost seem scheduled.  Because somehow I know, that by letting her vent and rant, I’m establishing a strong sense of self.

Hopefully, she’s discovering her own truth.  In a world that is still very much dog-eat-dog and I need her incisor teeth to stay sharp.  Not that she might bite me, but that she’ll have a little bite left, in case she herself becomes a parent.  And I manage to accomplish all of these things by thinking while she’s talking.

Like right now, I’m thinking while you’re reading this, that social media and the internet have given us a mighty big soapbox to shout our unsolicited opinions.  People I’ll never know or meet are liking what I post and I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.  There’s value in those clicks!

Yet, as comforted as we are by the likes and follows, none of it is accurate and we

To argue not for argument’s sake, but to allow ourselves the difference of opinions doesn’t make us enemies. That there is value in our words, as they allow us room to think, grow and move forward.  Being persuasive by storytelling and finding possibility by compromising.

Now, as I wait for her to settle down, I realize that this isn’t an ongoing battle. I love her unconditionally.  Eventually she’ll take the car and drive to the concert in Rhode Island with a carload of screaming silly girlfriends, but not today 🙂

I was just thinking… Sometimes Tweets are an immediate emotional response, that had the reader waited a few minutes, their response to the Tweet might have been less visceral.  Emotions are rarely logical, more often than not they’re base and mean.  These are my thoughts today..

Maybe, we all can get along, it just takes a little effort to hear what we believe needs to be said.   In that way, Ms. Maya Angelou was right… “We are more alike, than we are different.”

What are you thinking? 

Write back, let me know.  I’m listening  ~Tech Ears On~

 

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Rambling Along Like Fridays

Range circuit

There are so many different perspectives in the world, how can they all be right and mine be wrong?

Not so long ago, my life changed, it was a catastrophic event that stopped me from pursuing my dreams.  And when it was over, everyone’s opinion of me was minimized:

“Well, at least you’re alive.”

My life has always been more than just breathing.  My best use practices with air included running and sailing, as well as the hard work, dedication and socializing, in equal parts.  I was a Jackie of All Trades, from slinging a hammer to climbing a telephone pole and I liked it.  And of course there was wiggle room, my mistakes were lessons and I self-corrected and moved on.

I had started my TechnyGal brand, and unlike thousands of other people on the internet, I had discovered a way to monetize social media with zero investment!  So, my ROI (Return On Investment) was always growing.  I was invited to conventions, symposiums and was asked to be interviewed.  I was on conference calls, doing business with companies in the UK and here in the states.  And I was writing, it was the other love in my life, which I had put off to raise a family.

So, when the doctors told me that I would live, I was confused.   It wasn’t my standard of living, what I had become accustomed to, but some version of “Good enough”, their definition of what my life would now be.

Today, I’m reminded of my former self, before I got sick.  When I could walk, talk and run free… just rambling along like Fridays.

I came up with the idea, while watching a television show on NBC called This Is Us .  The show depicts the fictional Pearson family by moments of insights, refreshing unconditional love and filtered perspectives, some done via flashbacks and hindsight as to how they grow into themselves.

It’s a vignette slice of our society, served in proper proportion by the clever use of interracial triplets, that’s both entertaining and relatable.  From male to female to Caucasian to African-American, we are all Americans.  We share the same concerns, have the same overweight issues, and abuses we read about.

Maya Angelou wrote that we are more alike than we are different, think about that and then understand… there are millions of people with different opinions and none are more important to you, than your own.

I was told that I should be happy that I’m alive.  I struggle with that…  Of course there are moments when I’m happy, but also moments when I’m sad.  It’s difficult to not experience self-pity, after all I’m deaf in one ear, can’t walk without assistance and can’t pick up the work pace that I started.  But I’m told that there’s a good chance that my disease will go into remission, and like all people we do better when we can be hopeful.

I’ve started Rambling as a way stay motivated, to just keeping going… On & On.  What’s your motivation?

 

 

 

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Healthcare, Life, Uncategorized

AARP the Greatest Big Data

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Is it just me, or have 76.4 million other Baby Boomers, noticed the dismal failure of  AARP?

Once taunted as a Silver Tsunami, we Baby Boomers were to be a force to be reckoned with! And AARP was first to identify our numbers. I started to receive the mass mailing four years before my 50th birthday!   I was so annoyed, as it was a stark reminder that I had reached the half century benchmark.

And then, I started to think of myself as being special, being included sometimes has that affect.  And AARP mailings were upbeat and exciting.  Being fifty had it’s perks and one of them was being one of 76.4 million Baby Boomers that were invited to join an elite membership!

Now eight years later, here I am feeling mostly left out. The strength in our numbers, as more than a consumer are disappointing and on a political scale, non-existing.  It’s as though our potential which once sizzled, has fizzled and faded out.

AARP, the united front of teachers which evolved into a productive aging machine, was consciously aware of health insurance, but shied away from starting it’s own insurance.  It was a community based organization that wouldn’t enter the political arena and didn’t count its membership, as a voting bloc.

And AARP’s membership swelled.  But instead of becoming a supplier of information pertinent to its membership, a powerful knowledge dispensary like Google, AARP became a supplier/distributor of stale information targeted to old Americans.  It’s branding was marketed to an organic audience, to which they teased, “You don’t know AARP”.

Famous Baby Boomers became AARP spokespeople with no qualifications, or passion other than they, like all the rest of us had just aged and gotten old.  Apparently aging is an equal opportunist.

Whoopie Goldberg, the Baby Boomer comedian and Tom Hanks, the beloved actor who successfully portrayed real life Baby Boomer heroes, like Captain Sully who landed a commercial airplane on the Hudson River.

I was invited to participate in Boomer Technology in Boston, where I was allowed to interview AARP workers.  At one convention I wrote about an AARP initiative, computer classes for older Americans across America being led by young people, these they cleverly called AARP-TEK.

Ironically, everyone seemed prophetically aware of the impact of technology on an aging population.  But there was no urgency or sense of purposefulness, it was as if AARP could out-smart the smart technology by simply co-existing and entering the workplace.

We were the original pioneers of the World Wide Web; we lauded technology and intentionally installed cable into our homes, like some Orwellian Big Brother interior designer.  We welcomed that first fertile layer of smart technology and watched it as it grew.  It’s important to note, that back then we had a choice, both in policy and legislation and we understood the importance of Net Neutrality.

The doctrine “To serve and not be served” makes us complacent and passive aggressive.  Our vast numbers scream democracy, but we whisper in our collective activism, with all the vulnerabilities of an aging population.  We are faced with much more than just being prey to the usual scam artists.  As government supplements are snatched away and replaced with crumbs.

New technology is being developed so fast, just as we are slowing down.  Just as we are faced with our own moments of dementia, we’re being exposed to sophisticated hacks by cyber criminals.

It’s hard to look back and not see where we didn’t make a difference, but that’s the thing about growing old… One realizes too late, that youth is wasted on the young.  We think of our job as being done, when in fact it’s just transforming.  I remember analog technology’s metamorphosis into digital technology, but barely recognize old friends.

But there are success stories; many of my friends now walk around on titanium knees. We laugh and joke, as if they can run faster.  That’s the result of an active imagination that watched a lot of television.  It’s left a strong impression on us and we believe, if the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman could do it, then “Hell Yeah” we could do it too!

Thanks to technology, our expectations have grown. We’re living longer, with chronic illnesses that once killed humans.  It’s a clear indication that we’re pioneers of aging in a digital era and that we’re not our grandparents at this age.

Recently I’ve been thinking how the greatest ideas sometimes remain dormant.   That without fuel or a guidance system, those ideas aren’t engaging and don’t take hold.  It’s then that we aren’t trying to improve life.  Which seems such a waste of time, why else are we alive if we aren’t meant to make life better?

And so that’s what technology is for.  It is meant to make us the great contenders and doers, starting small businesses with which to cater to “US”.

History shows us how life might’ve been, with hindsight we glimpse the benefits of knowledge coupled with imagination.  How an invention can become much improved when creativity is allowed to flourish.  It’s then that the invention is given that “Wallah!” moment.

China invented Gunpowder (sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate) and for 400 years used it as a propellant for firework displays.  And then along came innovation, coupled with creativity that transformed how gunpowder was used, it became a powder keg that changed the world, or so we think…

I can’t be certain, but it seems that AARP missed an opportunity as well.

When an organization fails to gather and collect data in a cohesive way; when it doesn’t or won’t see further along than the tip of its nose; won’t or can’t make datasets or gather intelligence and other health information, or use financial graphs to determine best use practices, when an organization that starts out gathering so many people in a collective membership can think of little more than to sell its members on the benefits of Cellular One- Smartphones, with easy read displays and extra large numbers… the question we should ask is:  “What if AARP did something great, really great?”

Our numbers are that great; as great as our expectations once were.  We, Baby Boomers, the original pioneers of the internet are a treasure trove of Big Data.

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Big Data, Creativity, cyber-security, Uncategorized

Private Note to Baby Boomers

1 tech typewriter

It’s time now.  Come on, wake up. It’s your turn to make this world right.  Gummy bears and cotton candy, sweet dreams that form the cutting edge of innovation, because you are the epitome of possibility.  And yes,  the world may yet become a better place, because you’re in it.

So, finally, you’re about to graduate from parent-hood.  It’s truly an OMG kind of moment, where whimsy meets reality and you’re the star!  Soon emotion will stir with nostalgia to create a refreshing new out look and life will change forever.  It begins with a small spark within your soul, like a bead of perspiration that grows and flows.  Yes, there may be discomfort and moments of anxiety, but isn’t that what growth is all about?  Change always seems to include some discomfort.

Funny, but family will take on new meaning, as those things that once infuriated you about them, will become dear memories.  Those things that were so annoying, will be funny attributes.  You’ll miss the toys underfoot and the security blanket that you once wrapped around them, just as they once held your face in their round hands.   Cute.  It seems a hug isn’t a yoke after all, we’re made to love unconditionally, not because we have to… but simply because.

So as you prepare to trade in the mini-van for the Tesla, take a moment and pause…

Look around and see what once was and who you’ve become.   Remember how many baby steps they mastered before you learnt to let go, and they smiled.  And it was their triumphant and confident strides into womanhood that made you smile.    Relax, you’re not walking away from family, but instead into your own future.  Sure it’s a little bit frightening, but it’s also exciting.  And every step will become your mark in this world.   So step lively, be graceful and write!  Begin again, with kind and fresh footsteps wherever you go.

It’s technical, not a technicality.  Come on, it’s your turn to shine.   Let’s see how you do.

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Tech Befuddlement

$1 lathe

Befuddlement, it’s the perfect word for that moment, when you find yourself in the middle of the room, without the slightest idea of what you came to get, or do.

It’s a glitch, a processing error that creates a momentary lag in memory; an affliction that resembles aging.  And I absolutely hate it!

Embedded in the human experience are mishaps common to each of us, the stubbing of one’s toe and the bumping of one’s head, these events are surprises when they happen, but we’re never surprised that they can and do happen.   That is, if we’re alive, then it’s almost to be expected, as if we ourselves are characters in a Charlie Chaplin movie.

It’s not limited to any age group, it happens to children, but their response to the mishap seems quite contrary to the adult response.  And for this, I envy them.

I’ve watched them come tearing into a room, stop and look about and then dash back out; they seem oblivious that their round hands remain empty.  I’ve asked my daughters what they came for and they’ve simply shrugged their shoulders and replied, “I dunno.”  And that’s that, the end.

Just like that, they both lost a moment and dismissed it.  Yes, they’ve acknowledged that it happened, but they don’t succumb to it; don’t wonder if it’s the beginning of some horrible condition, like the early stages of dementia.

Because this sort of thing happens, it’s inevitable that we’ll walk empty handed into a room, then have no idea what we’ve come in for, or what we had to say or do, POOF!  The thought vanished.

Like life itself, we’re born and we learn to walk then run.  We start off with so much promise, and our ideas seem bright and then sometimes we settle, never fully grasping our best selves.  For love, for lack of money for whatever the reason, now irretrievably gone, like some whimsical vapor, it doesn’t matter.

And we grow older.  It’s not a bad thing, after all it is what it is, but we might need to start understanding that memory glitch.  Because technology might not have an answer.  So, just in case we arrive at the future and don’t know what we came for… let’s spin around and live life willy-nilly and not worry about it!

And let’s give it a name… “Whatchamacallit.”

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Filed under AARP, technology, Women

Bartering Technology for Cool Pink Lemonade

11 Lemonade Girls

What if Norman Rockwell’s America had been depicted differently?

What if little boys and little girls were treated equally, that they might pursue similar dreams, based on their aptitude; and not by what was in their diapers.  Maybe then, coding, and entrepreneurships wouldn’t be as male dominated as they are…

What if “Rosie”, the Riveter wasn’t just a wartime phenomenon, but was commonly seen in everyday life, as a woman no more extraordinary than the housewife attached by an apron string, by choice.

What if after the war she was promoted to CEO and we saw that image as well.  What dreams might her daughters and grandchildren have and how might they have lived, seeing themselves depicted equally?

That’s what I think. And I’m only thinking that way now, because this past August my idea was accepted and then advanced to phase two of the YouNoodle competition, Verizon’s Powerful Answers.  And as I moved along in the competition, the portion which I found most difficult was entrepreneurial, because I had no training in that area.  So I did my research and pushed forward, but it did sit with me and ultimately, my idea was passed on.

That’s what encouragement or lack of encouragement does, it can sit and become a burden, one that vexes you, or it can inspire you to rise and push, that you might become your greater self.  I call it a lemonade stance!  Taking life’s lemons and bartering them for a chance to live your life, your way!

Sometimes, we do it to ourselves, because it might be easier to create our own club, rather than knock on the door of his club.  But we need to remember that separate is never equal.

And being comfortable to speak, doesn’t guarantee that we’ll be heard; because we’ve effectively made it easier to be ignored, as a group huddled to one side of society.

I’m not a history revisionist, but if I were… we’d all know the wives of the great men of America.  Her story, the wife’s story would be motivational, for surely she had a story, as we all do and must.

Of the five men who have been credited with making America one of the most affluent and influential countries in the world, we know very little of their wives.   Try looking them up, there’s very limited information about them and it’s not simply because of the times, but society that has historically and effectively stifled them.

In tribute…

Laura Celestia Spelman, Abolitionist, Philanthropist and teacher married John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil) who she met in an accounting class.

Sophie Johnson married Cornelius Vanderbilt (Railroad) and ran the Bellona House, a hotel for weary travelers of her husband’s steamships.

Clara Bryant married Henry Ford (Automobile) and along with gardening was a business supporter in her husband’s business deals, that included convincing him to sign off on a Union contract.

Frances Tracy (2nd wife) married J.P. Morgan (Financier).  She preferred the quiet of the suburbs and home.

Louise Whitfield married Andrew Carnegie (Steel) and was a philanthropist.  She said it best:  “I am the unknown wife of a somewhat well-known businessman.”

But it’s wintertime in New England, a wonderful time for white fluffy snow that appeals to our aesthetic sensibilities.  A good time to pause and ponder life’s inequities, and like snow, thaw ideas that then nourish future minds, and grow so a child might become her greater-self and he might know of her.

Let’s begin by bartering life’s lemons for lemonade; to build lemonade stands.  So we can pass along tech advice, while we sip on cool pink lemonade and reimagine stories of what a damsel in distress looks like.

Cheers!

 

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Filed under AARP, Coding, Entrepreneurship, Gender, Gender Equality, Girls, Women

Pink Lemonade, the New Slice of Pie

L Pies

“What’s my plan?”

I’m not sure how to respond; I’m trying to figure it out, as I go along.  Lately life has supplied a bushel of lemons, and I’m familiar with the saying “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade” but what I’d really like to know is how do I make it into a slice of lemon pie?

For years, I’ve been delving around on the internet trying to get published.  But working full-time and raising a family limited the time I spent and some sites that offered me a steady readership, PNN (defunct) and Yahoo, byline offered anemic compensation.

But I’ve also seen some succes.  There was a “Name Us” on-line contest, an experiment that went viral with international submissions.   I entered the name “Pxyl” and won.   The company has since been named to INC Magazine 5000 list, as one of America’s fastest growing companies, maybe there’s magic in a name.   I won a Kindle (I still have it) and they’ve mentioned my name a few times.

The MIT Age Lab in Cambridge, MA selected me to participate in a driving study.  I was exposed to new technology, and discovered that age does have its perks.   I was given the keys to a specially equipped vehicle, and connected by electronic leads to external computers, while video cameras mounted in the interior of the vehicle recorded me driving along the highway.    The data and my responses were gathered, collected and uploaded to a Cloud in real time.

The world is fast changing and I’m interested in everything!  This past August I was invited to Maine for a huge tech conference and saw first hand how the business IT landscape is changing.  And yes, I noticed that it was mostly men, so I was happy to write about the many doors that are opening for Girls Coding.   Meanwhile, the open platforms, the cost of processors (dropped) and the Internet of Things is real and it’s all rather amazing!

I’m a technician at heart.  My mind is trained to always approach a problem by getting on its good side, and the only dumb question, is the one that wasn’t asked.  So I started to ask questions on the internet to anonymous engineers.  I took a free on-line coding class, I read and wrote and realized I was becoming more and more unemployable.   Social media seemed appealing, so I decided to become a brand.

In April of 2014, I created a pseudonym, both tech savvy and internet friendly, named TechnyGal.  I started a blog, first on the WIX  platform and then here, on WordPress.  I opened a Twitter account and tied them to Facebook.  I purchased a few domain names Technygal.com and PinkisTheNewGreen.net  and then I started writing.

Two months later I received an email from the Washington Post Live, inviting me to a forum in Boston, I accepted.  The next day, I received another invitation to attend a 3 day conference being held in Boston, by AARP  50+ Life Reimagined.  I graciously accepted.

While seated at a Press only luncheon, I leaned over and confessed to an executive VP, that I had no idea of how I had gotten there and that I was humbled and overwhelmed.  She smiled and replied, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”  So I have…

It’s been less than a year, and I’m thinking more and more of what direction I’d like Technygal to go in, and I’m thinking it includes girls coding, selling lemonade and getting bigger slices of pie.  But like I said, I’m not sure of how I’m doing what I’m doing, there’s just this steady movement always forward.

Your suggestions are welcome…

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Big Data, facebook, gadget, Gender, Gender Equality, Internet, small business, technology, Twitter

Thinking Outside The Bubble

1 Internet of everything

 

What’s in a name?

I was thinking that we humans have a tendency to forget things. That is, we walk into a room and fully forget what we came in to get; we drive our car home and forget where we put the car keys.   Well, we should all be able to remember this name.

“The Internet of Things”

Lazy and rather unimaginative, this name does what most names don’t actually do, it defines, describes and categorizes, then answers the question: “What is it?”

Once a theory and quickly realized, anything equipped with a sensor could be in constant communication with a computer processor.  I can almost imagine the first MIT scientists throwing their hands up in technological glee, fully inspired by the sheer volume of their discovery!

Now a coffee pot in their office could “talk” to the refrigerator down the hall.  And both could be programmed to “talk” to humans, as well as machines and more, these enchanted objects would be able to add cream and milk to your grocery list, as well as perform “yet to be thought of” applications.  Big Data (with it’s equally unimaginative name) would gather and collect executable data, which could be analyzed in real time.

Mind boggling and still evolving into what just might be “the internet of nearly EVERYTHING”.

The Digital Age has jettisoned technology closer to a television cartoon with a similar name (The Jetsons).  We don’t have flying cars, but who knows?  Everything seems possible with sensors and a computer’s magical little black box, that processes code.  That leads to technology getting smarter and smarter.

Change is coming, both progressive and disruptive.   It can decimate confidence, shake up the bottom line and place a strain on long standing traditions.  And we’re all prone to its “Goosies”,  that skin tingling sensation induced by excitement or fear or disbelief.

Mature businesses, like older people will feel it acutely, maybe more so than start-up companies and younger, tech savvy people, who never used letterhead on bond paper and couldn’t tell the difference.  But having different efficiency levels shouldn’t be a license to feast, one on the other.

It’s wiser to work together; bartering and collaborating like our ancestors did when they first discovered fire.  And again, when they put fire to a best use practice, smelting iron and forging steel.   Factoid, teamwork will always lessen a load.

We’ll have to use technology smartly, because finger swipes across a screen is not a measure of intelligence.   We’ll also need to put on our thinking caps, which will act as a protective helmet in the event of a crash.

The mind is a powerful bubble making machine, full of ideas.  So, what happens when a thought bubble pops?

I say we harness the gases for propulsion, fasten your seatbelt.   It’s gonna be a helluva ride!

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Big Data, cellphone, Code, Coding, gadget, Internet, ipad, iPhone, tech, technology, Twitter

The Age of Selfie-Satisfaction

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All across the internet, there’s a Laissez-faire attitude that allows us to post our photos boldly.   But who took and posted the first Selfie?

I only ask because it’s become so fashionable.  Everyone takes them, from politicians to rock stars to the Average Joe; and then they post them online, “See me, here I am.”

Most of the time I’m not even looking for anyone, but I become intrigued by the crooked smile or the dimples, so I click on a photo and read.
But what I’d really like to know is what happened to those cartoon avatars?  You remember the ones;  we had a choice when you signed onto a website.   And it didn’t matter which avatar you picked, because it was only a feeble attempt at representation.  Besides, back then we hid behind our anonymity, and procrastinated when the technology changed over to thumbnail photos.   And despite our wishes, it caught on and stayed.

Technology doesn’t care about shyness or looks or even who uses it;  so we all had to rise above self-esteem issues.

Reluctantly, we changed our avatars to real photos.  At least most of us did, and we laughed at ourselves, without worry of consequence.  It was extraordinary.

Because that’s the beauty of technology, that even the most introverted or bashful person can be popular on social media.   With thousands of Followers on Twitter and Likes on Facebook, another story can be told; a Start-up can be funded and a floundering business revitalized.   Just by posting a Selfie there, or Pinterest or Instagram.  A cliché comes to life, that yes a picture can and does paint a thousand words.

According to cognitive research psychologists, the only downside of mindlessly snapping photos is that the human brain can’t retain what it hasn’t fully processed or seen;  it’s the opposite effect of a photographic memory.   That is, you’re not going to remember details of the photo you took, because you let the camera do the work for you.

Ah, but what does that matter? The whole world is doing it! And there are so many platforms to display your Selfies and Clouds to store them all. And if it does come to fruition that it does matter, we’ll probably be old and senile.

And then, in that moment, in the Coming Age of Exposure, who’ll notice? Again, we’ll smile. Perhaps, a little more like the Mona Lisa smile, smug. And we’ll sing like Madonna… “Strike a pose- Vogue.”

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Filed under AARP, facebook, Internet, photography, Selfie, social media, Twitter

Readers of Code

world book 9

I like that people are reading. For a long while it seemed that people had stopped reading, but now thanks in part to social media, people are reading more, albeit snippets of information.

Still, these easy readers, Tweets, status updates and likes, have created a renewed readership, with links to blogs and articles, that have been written by real writers. Technology, it seems is getting people to read!

Once upon a time, I was an avid reader. Not voracious, but still very much on top of things. I read any genre and was always on the lookout for new writers. It seemed that I had more leisure time, and I was a fast reader, able to enjoy a quick read as well as a long casual one.

Books you see, are my friends. They stay up with me when I can’t sleep, whispering to me about new ideas, old innuendos and faraway places right here on earth. Books lean against the wall, or sit patiently on the table, stacked and ready for my retreat into them, away from reality.

I like to savor what I read. Let the words swirl around inside my head. Discover new thoughts, evoke emotions that softly touch or ruffle up against the edges of a memory. All mine. If left to my own vices, I’d sit with a nice glass of chardonnay and read a whole book; a book a day, as if it were an elixir, ah …

Unfortunately, I have fewer hours to read. But I make time to visit the library and I browse local bookstores. Because I like the way a book feels in my hands, as much as I like the smooth feel of my iPad, which replaced my 1st generation Kindle.

And in addition to that, I’ve been learning code. I’m a big advocate that all girls should learn code, and wasn’t I once a girl?

So, I signed up for an Edx course, purchased a few books and started to run programs on a computer. (And here, dear reader is where I must add a disclosure: “I’m not a computer geek, not a rocket scientist and not a genius and not a programmer.”) I’m a student in the world of variables and integers.

Anyway, yesterday I curled up with my book, my laptop and executed a C program in terminal with Gedit. It was mind-boggling, as I started to believe, that if you read it, you can understand and do it. And to that end, I’m learning.

I created a social message about girls coding in MIT’s Scratch website; it allows you to code with blocks. (For giggles, here is my project, click the green flag Girls Jump.)

I like that people are reading again. Technology it seems, does require us to think and it’s making us readers of code. And that’s a good thing.

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Big Data, Code, Coding, Gender, Girls, social media, tech, technology, Twitter, Women