Social Networking and Aging
It is 8 AM here in Oakland, California and I’ve already received a text message from my daughter telling me she’s too tired to talk, an email from a coaching client telling me she has no internet and would I text back my confirmation that I’ve received her message that she cannot keep her appointment today, a ping-back from one of the pesky Viagra infestors of blogs to my posting about weight loss, and at least 50 emails. I have not yet visited the website of my three graduate classes this morning, but am sure there are 30-50 postings there for me to read. I did fill out an application for CCE’s (continuing coaching education credits) for my Appreciative Coaching classes, but have not emailed that application yet. I’ve posted to Facebook and am here writing my blog. All of this electronic communication is exhausting.
On the days when I am firmly attached to my computer and cell phone for most of the day I make do with these forms of communication. But make no mistake. They are not REAL communication to me. My work with real people at real geographic places gives me energy. Electronic communication saps my energy. I’m sure this is related to age. My daughters seem happy to interact with the world via their Blackberries and iPhones. All three of them have healthy realtime relationships as well–husbands, business associates, children, and friends. One of my daughters owns a spa. She sends lovely embellished emails to me about getting my eyebrows waxed. Another uses her Blackberry between meetings and locations to keep in touch with her workmates and her family. My middle daughter uses her iPhone to relax as well as to communicate. She is hearing impaired and can hook herself up to music and videos at whatever volume suits her, as a way to shut out the sometimes overwhelming amount of communication that comes into her hearing aids.
I have adjusted to all of this. I Tweet and I post to Facebook. I use the older electronic technologies of blogging and updating my website. I give webinars, and teach online. Most of my coaching is done by phone, rather than face to face. At the end of the day, though, I’m exhausted rather than exhiliarated. Interacting with a rectangular object is not the same as a live person to me and never will be.