As we embrace the graduation season, it’s important to listen to our high school students – particularly when they Speak The Unspoken.
Contemplate their voices in this video from 2007 – that illustrates the challenges we must continue to address in 2016.
Please share with your graduates, your family members, friends and those who share a deep concern regarding the heart of the U.S. – and how we might proceed to improve our communities, our countries, our world, our hearts and our future.
I’m considered a Baby Boomer – supposedly the largest generation born in the USA post WWII between 1946 and 1964. According to some demographic experts, Millennials (ages 18-34) will surpass the number of Boomers in the U.S. in the near term, followed by the Gen X’ers (ages 35-50) in 2028.
Although generations are considered “analytical constructs,” groupings of births in a specific country during a specific era for the purposes of study by social scientists, we often overlook the fact that the labels we use to create generation members, disguise the fact that they are composed of living, breathing human beings.
For Boomers, more has been written about my oftentimes maligned cohort than any other generation. I won’t recount that here. However, recently I have been pondering the privilege of being a Boomer – of having lived during this particular epoch in human civilization. Here’s some things that have come to mind that only Boomers can truly appreciate – as we have lived it – together:
Remember the “party line” on your parents’ home telephone service?
Black and white television – with three channels and tin foil wrapped “rabbit ears” or a rooftop antenna.
VHS v. Beta
Smoking was allowed on airline flights.
Practicing “atomic bomb/civil defense drills” as a student in school – covering your head beneath your desk with your teacher and fellow students.
Gasoline was 23 cents a gallon.
A movie was 30 cents.
A lift ticket at a ski resort was three bucks.
There was no such thing as a microwave oven or a remote control.
The day your rotary dial phone was replaced with a push button phone.
A carton of milk at school was two cents.
Vinyl 45 RPM records with the big hole in the middle.
The term “communist” was heard frequently.
Automobiles had no seat belts.
Garbage trucks had nothing to lift the garbage cans with – except garbage men.
A dishwasher was a human – not a machine.
The mailman walked to every home to deliver the mail.
The term “software” referred to pajamas, sweat pants and sweatshirts.
Police cars had red flashing lights.
Nurses wore white outfits with white caps.
An eye pad was something one wore over an injured eye.
There were only about a dozen different kinds of beer.
Hubcaps were standard on all automobiles.
Tattoos were seen only on men – typically those who had served in the U.S. Navy.
Portable music was solely available on a transistor radio.
Amazon was a rain forest in a far away place.
Be kind to Boomers. Perhaps you might use this article as a tool to stimulate interesting dialog with the Boomer’s in your life.
In thinking about 2016, I decided to really think about the impact of social media in my life.That’s why I have launched F-3 – Forget Facebook February. Here are some things I have recognized in a brutally honest assessment.
Facebook consumes time and attention – energy and activity that could be spent in other dimensions of life.
Do you have projects you would like to complete but “can’t find the time” to get them done?
If you could have more time, what would you do?
Is time on Facebook consuming the time you once enjoyed engaging in other activities?
What are they? As an example, what book have you postponed reading (or writing) because your social media use has become an insatiable carnivore of your time?
Here are some points to ponder regarding Facebook – and why you might consider participating in F3 – Forget Facebook February:
A. Technology and social media possess a “creep” characteristic – quiet and accretive, they eat into our time, energy and lives.
B. Social media use is a choice – we choose to adopt it – then fail to realize what we have sacrificed for its’ use.
C. There is a cost to social media use. Oftentimes, we fail to recognize when we choose to invest time and energy in Facebook, we choose to not participate in other dimensions of 21st century living available to us.
D. For some, we must confront the reality that our lives have become more compartmentalized due to our social media use – as we have unwittingly become captives of social media. Rather than expanding social horizons in life, immersion in social media use can subtly become a confining factor versus a interpersonal relations expansion vehicle.
E. There is an inherent fallacy to “Friends on Facebook.” For every 500 friends you may have on Facebook – get honest. When the chips are down in your life and you really need the tangible support and encouragement of true friends. that number dwindles to 5 or less.
F. Spectating vs. participation – Has Facebook become a time consuming life activity for you – such that your participation in actually engaging in an active lifestyle has suffered? Have you become more of a spectator vs. a participant in life due to your use of social media.
G. Social media impairs the extended concentration capabilities of the human brain. Your brain is like a muscle; it possesses muscle memory. If you are not using your brain muscle for its extended concentration capability (vs. tweets, likes, abbreviated messaging etc.) – it loses this capacity (think about reading books, classroom learning, focus, writing in an extended, coherent narrative etc.).
H. Has Facebook become an important part of your personal identity and/or your self worth? For many, the answer is yes. If so, can you remember what Facebook has replaced as a source of personal identity/self worth? Why? How so? Honestly, we are all much more than what we appear on Facebook. Maybe it’s time to reexamine this issue.
I. Facebook has become a primary communication mechanism for many people. Thus, other forms of interpersonal interaction are often sacrificed. Remember the importance of actually meeting people face-to-face or enjoying a telephone conversation?
Based upon the above, I am embarking on F3 – Forget Facebook in February2016. I want to explore the possibilities of life without Facebook for thirty days. In A-I above, I want to read and write more, explore listening to some new music, use the time not involved with social media to immerse myself in other activities, plan more face time with folks, more photography, more frequent walks/hikes with Reggie, and become more active outdoors. By the way, I have never had Facebook on my phone – it’s just too intrusive and annoying for me. If you are going to participate in F3 in February 2016, I recommend you uninstall the FB app on your phone. I don’t use twitter either…and will not start.
We’ve also developed an image for you to post on your FB page to let others know you’re taking a month long break. Feel free to copy this image and paste it on your FB page for the month of February 2016. For those who do participate, you can go to http://www.BillDahl.net and post what you are learning during F3 – as a comment beneath this post.
Explore. Grow. Learn. Change. Lean into two thousand sixteen. Challenge your current habits with technology and social media. How we spend our time is how we live our lives. Enhancing the quality of life requires experiments with intentional change.
It’s time for my annual award for the 2015 Social Media Meaning Manufacturer of the Year. It’s simply a way for me to recognize someone whose social media presence and posts consistently challenge me throughout the year – and make a positive deposit in my life. This particular 2015 Award Winner’s posts grow me as a person. The web and it innumerable platforms can numb the mind of the billions that regularly consume its fare each and every day. Perhaps, you might friend the person I have selected for my 2015 award on Facebook and begin to digest his posts on a daily basis for your 2016. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Ron Cole of Victoria, British Columbia Canada is my 2015 Award Winner. Ron is retired, dad, husband, writer, thinker, activist, Questian, musician, blogger and passionate poster on Facebook whose content can be characterized as:
The subject matter of Ron’s posts include global issues, the human spirit, multi-faith religious issues, the environment, food, struggle, politics, social justice, activism, and the universe in which we live. Several years ago, Ron coined the term “theredemptive imagination” – a core concept that inhabits his life and the refreshing variety represented in his posts – sharing poetry, music, quotes, images, original writings, links and video clips.
Ron observes things many overlook, from his perch on an island in northwestern Canada. He is one of the few “magnates of the mystery” that inhabit the world wide web. He is genetically curious and distinctly appreciates the questions versus the certainties in life. He is a consistent, persuasive advocate for “the least of these.” Ron works at his Facebook posts – he shares what is meaningful to him in hopes that you will be similarly impacted.
As part of your start to 2016, send Ron a friend request on Facebook and begin to follow him. Enjoy the journey in 2016 with Ron Cole…trust me – you will be glad you did. Expect to be inspired, to grow, learn, be challenged, become perplexed, awed, entertained and begin a journey with a man who will lead you into an understanding of what living life with a redemptive imagination really means.
May 2016 bring change to the habits you may have unwittingly developed in 2015…Make following Ron Cole on Facebook a new habit in 2016. You’ll be glad you did. To journey with Ron is to “move beyond” the mind numbing, routine content most folks become seduced into consuming – primarily on Facebook. Change that…change…change for the better in 2016 with Ron Cole.
Thank you Mr. Cole. Congratulations from ALL of us!