"You unfriended me on Facebook."
During the past few weeks I have been hearing that from Baby Boomers who have retired. Of course, they take their Facebook page quite seriously. I don't.
That's because I am still working - often 18 hours day when plum assignments come in. My focus is on, as the cliche hammers, making hay while the sun shines. At 3% growth, the economy has been strong.
And, the reason I unfriended them is simple: We Baby Boomers have split into 2 cultures. They are The Working and The Retired. The latter, perhaps out of boredom, wants to conduct stimulating conversations on what should be the relaxed Facebook platform. For instance, they challenge my support of a lawsuit. They expect a detailed answer. Duh.
Enough already, I got to thinking. Why be drawn into a dialogue which doesn't earn me a cent and consumes energy and those folks aren't really the one or two close friends everyone needs?
The people I unfriend are what Judith Viorst called in 1986 "Necessary Losses." That was the title of her breakthrough book. It was a stunner because back then there was still a reverence for not only old friendships. In addition, the ethos had been to preserve what we could of all relationships. Sure, keep that colleague at your first job on your Christmas mailing list.
Now, we Baby Boomers who are determined to continue to earn a good living are being forced to let go of anyone who drains us, without any professional payoff.
Not when we frame that necessity in terms of survival. It requires a lot to remain working.
Before I was 60 years old a 70-something I met at Women in Communications laid it out for me, as well as others in the organization. Her company had called her back to work as a consultant. That entailed extensive travel.
Instead of complaining, she stated the reality: Either you're all in or you're not. With that one sentence, she taught the rest of us what we faced if we kept our businesses going.
To be all in, we can't have the retired seek us out for intellectual stimulation on Facebook or any other supposedly lite social network. We swing by Facebook to chill.
You owe yourself a complimentary consultation about your marketing and advocacy communications. Please contact Jane Genova, firstname.lastname@example.org or @genova_jane.