It’s easy to lament the negative influence of Facebook. Especially so if you are in the older demographic and don’t have a real appreciation of how it works. The biggest complaint is that it has replaced face-to-face and even phone-to-phone friendships and therefore has an adverse effect on relationships. Speak to heavy users – the younger demographics – and, for the most part, the contrary appears to be true.
The happiest women I speak to in my research are older women. Sitting around the table with a group of women in their 60s the conversation is always lively and upbeat. This is arguably the best stage of life for them. And far from retiring or slowing down there is a lot happening in their lives. It is a new phase and an exciting one at that.
A decade ago, when in their mid-50s, the Boomers were
adamantly rebellious about their health. Live hard even if it means you die a
bit younger was their mantra. They were intent on ignoring their doctors’ instructions
to curtail their lifestyle, and rather chose to enjoy life to the max.
On a recent drive I caught a brief look at a perplexing
billboard. I can’t recall what it was advertising –apologies for focussing on
the road – but I did notice the largest font words asking “Over 55?”
It seems there is no real difference between being 55 years old,
90 years old or beyond. It is assumed that once the magical age of 55 is reached
all consumers share the same values, lifestyle, outlook and consumption
patterns. At least that’s the conclusion once can draw from this billboard and,
surprisingly, most other advertising and marketing campaigns.
The Boomers once thought they were hip and cool. Mostly they still think they are. They were edgy, liberated and rebelled against their parents’ outmoded social mores and values. They spoke openly and behaved in ways their own parents would not have dreamt of. Their media was cutting edge. Their fashion and music were once considered outrageous and pushing society beyond its comfort levels. Recall that the Rolling Stones were forced to sing “Let’s spend some time together” instead of “Let’s spend the night together” on the Ed Sullivan show in 1967.
Fast forward to today and suddenly the Boomers echo sentiments of their own parents’ generation. However far they may have pushed social boundaries , it is nothing compared to what their grandkids have done. They have gone much too far for their sensibilities. Prolific swearing, skimpy clothes, sexualised imagery, laughing at inappropriate things have turned the Boomers into relative conservatives.