It might be tempting as we get older to say, “I don’t need to be on social media anymore.” Well, I’ve recently heard a couple of comments that made me realize being on social media isn’t something we can simply abandon as we age.
Social media helps us find opportunities. If taking on a side hustle is part of your unretirement, then staying on social media should absolutely be a part of your strategy. I ran across a press release from Challenger Gray & Christmas recently discussing what I would call the double-edged sword when it comes to social media and aging.
Organizations have been told for years to use social media for marketing and recruiting. It’s cost-effective and can allow organizations to distribute their message to a wide audience. It totally makes sense.
BUT keep in mind the audience is only the people who are on social media. So, if only young people are on social media…well, you get it. Then only young people get the message. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ve survived the past five years without being on Twitter so no need to join now.” Well, maybe it’s time to rethink that. Or if you’re saying, “I only need LinkedIn if I’m going to work in an office environment. Once I retire, I’ll delete the account.” Again, maybe it’s worth keeping. And more importantly…using.
Social media helps to establish our identity. I was listening to an AARP webinar recently that talked about personal branding and they made an interesting comment – having a social media presence is important because it proves you’re a real person. I have to admit, this was both obvious and insightful at the same time.
I don’t know about you but there are many times when a company tries to call me or connect with me that the first thing I do is look them up on the internet. Are they “real”? Or is this just spam? I’m sure people do it with me as well.
Even if you don’t plan to have a side gig in unretirement, it could make sense to keep a social media presence. For example, Keith and I recently met some couples in our new community. We had a nice time and talked about staying in touch. Of course, they’re already retired so they don’t have business cards. I thought, we can just connect on Facebook. Well, they don’t check their Facebook account. They have an account. But it just sits there. So not only are they not using it to connect with people, but they aren’t making sure it’s not a target for hackers.
I understand that there are days we all want to close our social media accounts and shut out the world. But there’s also some really fun stuff on social media. Like this article about gay penguins rescuing a neglected chick at a Denmark zoo. And a lot of really nice people. Bottom-line: social media can bring value to your unretirement and retirement. Start making the investment to learn and use it.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Las Vegas, NV