Woodstock was not Woodstock.

Jimi_Hendrix_on_stage_fender_stratocaster

Would it be uncool if Jimi Hendrix, 66, joined Facebook?

If you remember the 1960s and ’70s, chances are you view(ed) it as a time of tectonic upheaval, as forces of peace and love sought to displace the power of The Man, squareness, conformity, bigotry, oppression, Nixon, LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, those who couldn’t dig it, and all music recorded by or under the influence of Frank Sinatra.

With the passage of time and the Baby Boomers now staking their place toward the end of the generational queue, we’ve come to realize that a generation gap is not a near-mythic abyss, but merely a socio-biological phenomenon, as predictable and benign as the phases of the moon.

So the criticisms of us from the other side of the generational divide rankle less: Boomers are selfish, Boomers are Social Security hogs, Boomers are conspicuously environmental. And the latest, asked almost redundantly: “Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter?

“When the Baby Boomers … arrive, they tend to do so en masse. And when they set up camp, they invariably change the dynamic of the social network itself,” Robert Shrohmeyer writes in PC World, and goes on to blame the horde-over-50 for bringing with them “everything from increased political activity to a proliferation of spam.”

I don’t know what fits between those two extremes. But as extreme as it sounds, remember that this is not a replay of Woodstock — the young seeking to push aside the old — because Woodstock was not Woodstock.  This is merely about social demographics. Plus, they’re not going to push us aside.

Instead, these Millennials might run away, abandoning the current social media mainstream for the next hot young thing.

(I’ll just note there’s a new Woodstock website, which I found out about from a blog called The Sixties. The Woodstock festival took place 40 years ago in August. When I clicked on the Woodstock site, there were two ads for the Ford Fusion hybrid.)

My own Facebook friend list is multi-generational, and I admit that I communicate with my younger friends differently than those who are my age. Then again, I don’t treat my close friends the same way I treat those who know me nominally, no matter what their age.

I’m curious — how do you handle generational differences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media?  And “you” is anyone of any age or generation.

Wired has some juicy comments that address my question, including this one:

“Once older people began to like something we like, it just loses its luster. It happens with everything. Before you know it, we will have to ditch facebook and crete another site and that will be invaded. Please just stop. Why doesn’t someone create a social site just for baby boomers so you’ll leave us the hell alone.”

You can hear the basement door slam, can’t you?

Lets discuss this soon, before the tide goes out. A blog and BizReport suggest that Boomers are abandoning Facebook. Even if true, we can be sure that the generational struggle will continue someplace else.

(Just to clarify, Jimi Hendrix, born in 1942, was not a Baby Boomer. Only 7 percent of Jimi’s generation “have online social-networking profiles,” according to this informative article on CNN.com.)

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4 Comments

Filed under communications, internet, social media

4 responses to “Woodstock was not Woodstock.

  1. conradcook

    I was going to reply to this, but as a Gen-Xer, I find I can’t trouble to come up with an opinion.

    Conrad.

  2. Haha. My theory is that Gen-X is connected to the Baby Boom generation by sheer proximity. It’s not your fault.

  3. ‘Course it’s not my fault. I’m a Gen-Xer.

  4. Pingback: Gotta get my Fred and Wilma. « David Wrote This

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