Too Old to Learn Social Media?

Question: During most of my career, I worked as a nurse. I left nursing to start my own business as a hypnotherapist.  My whole career of 30+ years focused on one-on-one contact. Now I have to use the computer and social media and I find myself resisting every part of it.

What can I do to make it work for me?

Answer: For those of us who didn't grow up with computers, it's really a challenge. Social Media (Linkedin, FB, etc.) is an enigma. Here are a couple things that might help you:

  • Celebrate the fact that the technical challenge is enabling you to grow new brain connections. There is research that indicates those new connections form clusters. Over time, if some of the old connections start wimping out, the new connections can take over. So, twenty years from now you may never want to use a computer again, but your brain will still be benefiting from the connections and clusters you're making with the things you're challenging yourself to learn now
  • Find a tech person who can answer your questions
    • A high school or college kid can usually answer your "how do I do this" questions
    • When something goes bad, like a virus or serious error message, make sure you have someone to call
      • Ask friends who they use or check with your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Take one social media platform (like FB) and spend the whole month focused on understanding what it is and how it works
    • You may find that, except for keeping up with kids and grandkids, you don't want to use FB. But you might find another platform, like Pinterest, is more fun to use.
  • Be kind to yourself in the process
    • Understand that you're in a learning curve. Read this month's "competence" blog posts to understand the stages of competence
    • Know that you've been here before, like when you first tried to tie your shoes or started driving a car or started college. You're learning something that (for the moment) makes you feel frustrated. Then, one day, you'll suddenly "get it" and you'll wonder why you couldn't get it before
  • Persist until you "get it

So many of us are where you are - so remember you aren't alone, you're in a competence learning curve and persistence pays!