Baby Boomers, Can Virtual People Be Real Friends?
Today’s world bears few recognisable qualities with the world Baby Boomers grew up in. Then, 40 or 50 years ago, friends were easy to find and most lived next door, across the street or on the next road. Parents knew each other and looked out for each other’s children when they were with their own children. It was a safe and friendly time.
Now, with children spread out all over the world, working and raising their own families, it is likely that a good number of Baby Boomers are lonely.
The widespread use of computers and the Internet has made dramatic changes to those Baby Boomers who are comfortable using computers. Many are using the Internet to make friends all over the world. It no longer matters where you live as long as you have an Internet connection.
People meet other people online in various ways. Forums and Groups are good places to meet people while posting responses to their questions or helping them understand some technique. After reading forum posts from other members, and their responses to your questions or posts, you can get a pretty good idea about the people you might like to be friendly with.
Baby Boomers and the Internet.
Blogs are another good way to find like-minded people for interesting conversation or an exchange of ideas. It’s not a bizarre concept, meeting real friends online and in places thousands of miles away from where you live. The Internet has made that a real possibility and blogs and forums are two formats that make it easy.
Blogging is more personal and friendly than forums which explains its rapid popularity as both a marketing tool and an avenue for idea exchanges between subscribers. A blog is much simpler to set up than a website with a membership aspect, and cheaper. Some blogs can be set up for free. My blog is set up in WordPress and was free to set up in the first instance.
I set up a blog for my marketing home based business and now have hundreds of online friends worldwide.
Email is an immediate delivery source that probably changed the way we interact with each other. When was the last time you actually mailed a letter…with a stamp?
Many Baby Boomers are isolated and lonely. The older they get, the more that isolation grows as friends enter care homes or move away to live with their caretaking children. The Internet is full of vibrant, intelligent and warm people looking for new friends. Age doesn’t matter if you have common interests and can exchange ideas with each other. Virtual friendships can become close friendships rapidly.
The differences between the friends you made when you were in school, or after you married and started a family, and the ones you make online is that you can chose your online friends based on similar interests, attitudes or their sense of humor that makes you laugh. You are not limited by neighbours or family friends.
Your family and old friends might believe that you are socially retarded and are playing a dangerous game by making friends with people you’ve never met face-to-face. It’s not a secret that predators and other weirdoes hang out on the Web and your family may worry about you.
If you select chat rooms for contacts, prepare yourself for unsolicited attention from strangers and always remember that you do not know who you are talking to. Don’t believe everything that’s said to you.
You should take some precautions when you are making friends online. Do not provide your address or phone number unless you want to share it. For instance, I share mine in order for other marketers to contact me. Do not respond to overtly sexual comments and block the emails from people who persist on sending you inappropriate solicitations. This is important. You would be surprised how many times I have had proposals of marriage. The great thing is there is a block button, especially on Social Media. It is also a good habit to get a separate email address that you use exclusively for meeting new people online. Do not give people you do not know any of your personal details.
Just be careful and enjoy meeting new people. It is exciting to have friends in other countries and on other continents. With the Internet and email, there’s no reason to be alone.
I would like to conclude by saying that I have personally made connections with hundreds of new friends worldwide, many of them fellow baby boomers and these past three years that I have been working online have been so rewarding. I have felt really connected and even though its the internet, you soon decide who are your real friends online. Enjoy your journey.
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