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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 11-Sep-14 16:34:01

The baby boomer bloggers

In our first ever guest post from across the pond, Janie Emaus, tells us why baby boomers make the best bloggers, and how America's generation of 'mommy bloggers' had better watch out...

Janie Emaus

The baby boomer bloggers

Posted on: Thu 11-Sep-14 16:34:01


Lead photo

Janie Emaus won't be giving up the internet any time soon...

It's the 21st century and millions of grandparents are now retiring and becoming grandparents - and baby boomers are blogging!

Yes, believe it or not (and despite the stereotypes) those of us over fifty really are computer savvy. We may not have grown up with cell phones or laptops, but as the media portrays, we learn quickly.

Today in the United States, we are quickly catching up to the mommy bloggers. Granted, they still have a larger fraction of the online population (which I attribute to their coming of age with this technology) but we baby boomers have a large advantage: more experience, thus more topics to blog about.

And blog we do!

On everything from sex (Yes! We still do it!) to anti-aging miracle creams (when one exists, I’ll be the first to let you know). We blog about how to survive the empty nest, how to increase brain power, hot flashes, the hottest spots to visit, retirement, grandparenting, living with disabilities, relocating, second chances, books, death, love. In other words, we blog about LIFE.

And we blog for a number of reasons.

To educate: Walker Thornton says, "I began to see a need for serious conversation about sex, menopause and dating geared to boomer adults. I think our demographic is hungry for information that is written specifically for our needs, is age-appropriate, matter-of-fact and educational."

For me, at any given time I can log on and find a friend with whom to share my thoughts. It makes me feel comfortable knowing that as I grow into old age, I'll always have someone to communicate with.

For self expression: Linda Wolfe eloquently explains, "Having something for me after all those years of putting myself at the bottom of the list, as many mothers do, and having a voice that could be heard beyond the confines of home or century and millions of baby boomers are now retiring, playground felt incredible."

To share: Being a novelist, one of my favourite blogs is Books is Wonderful. In Helene Bludman’s words, "I started blogging as a prelude to writing a book. I came to enjoy expressing my thoughts and sharing them with others by way of my blog. Because I am a book lover, I decided to make book reviews part of my blog as well."

To empower: Many of us feel the same as Cathy Chester. "I want to leave this world knowing that I made a mark on someone else's heart."

Let's be clear we have no intention of leaving the internet any time soon. In fact, after moving my mother into a retirement village this past year, I realise even more than ever, the importance of blogging and my online friends. My mother's friendships are limited to those around her. As she grows older, her circle of friends grows smaller.

For me, at any given time I can log on and find a friend with whom to share my thoughts. It makes me feel comfortable knowing that as I grow into old age, I'll always have someone to communicate with. I'm not sure how that communication will exist. Probably not by blog or vlog. But by a medium not yet invented. Something currently inside the head of a preschooler who loves taking apart his mother's iPhone!"

Read more from Janie on her blog.

By Janie Emaus

Twitter: @janie5010

Starling Thu 11-Sep-14 19:14:51

I am never sure if I am a "Baby boomer" but according to Wikipedia an online source, it means anyone born in the post-war baby boom 1946-1964. So anyone currently aged 50 - 68. In which case I am one. Well I am not sure why it should be surprising if people this age are blogging - we are doing everything else on the internet too!

hildajenniJ Thu 11-Sep-14 19:38:19

I've never blogged (I'm not that interesting) but I communicate via Gransnet, Facebook etc. all the time. If I can do it, anyone can. I always thought I was a Baby Boomer, thanks for confirming it Starling. smile

Starling Thu 11-Sep-14 23:42:46

I'm sure you are interesting hildajenniJ !

Groovygran Fri 12-Sep-14 13:36:01

I started work on a manual typewriter yet here I am sitting in my armchair with my iPad, in Australia.

Elegran Fri 12-Sep-14 13:41:54

I always thought that it was people in the immediate post-war baby boom. I wonder why 1964 is the cut-off date? That puts DD1 (1965) almost in the baby-boomer category - she would emphatically deny it!

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 12-Sep-14 13:43:06

How do people find blogs on the internet? If they really want to.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 12-Sep-14 13:44:29

I'm not a baby boomer! Fantastic! They don't mean me. smile

Galen Fri 12-Sep-14 13:54:45

Nor megrin I'm too old sad

rockgran Fri 12-Sep-14 14:16:47

I first became aware that the term "baby boomer" meant me when Trivial Pursuit released that edition in 1983. At first it seemed a good thing - now I find we are blamed for all the wrongs of the world!

Starling Fri 12-Sep-14 17:34:11

How to find a blog - good question! I think just google the word blog along with anything or anyone you are interested in - there seem to be attempts to create blog indexes but it looks like they are opportunities for bloggers to list their own blogs rather than anything systematic.

Starling Fri 12-Sep-14 17:51:51

Galen and jinglbellsfrocks - I think you'll have to create your own description for those who are older than baby boomers - especially if you are blogging....

Elegran your daughter can be Generation X if she prefers, that seems to be early 1960s to early 1980s (anyone born 1982 to 2002 is apparently Generation Y although it's a bit muddled up as the start of Generation Z seems to be in there too).

I'm not sure why these terms exist - sociology meets marketing?

Elegran Fri 12-Sep-14 18:14:37

We are all on a continuum of age from birth to death, and some of us are at a point which is not the same as our chronological age.

I hate these arbitrary labels.

upsydaisy Mon 15-Sep-14 12:46:02

I personally can't stand the term 'babyboomer'. For a kick off I don't think anyone had any more children post war than they have now so don't even understand how the term came about.

Anyways as for blogs. I've been quite an avid reader of blogs for a long time. I've had a few of my own too but always get bored of talking to myself. I think you just kind of stumble across blogs in the course of spending hours on end surfing the internet.

I'm not a lover of age specific ones though and tend to find the ones written by younger women appeal to my sense of humour more than those aimed at the over 50's. Having said that Silversurfers website seems to be able to achieve the perfect balance of being informative on older people's subjects without being stuffy and appealing to people of all backgrounds and of equal interest to both men and women.

This is my favourite at the moment - Becky Says Things. She is brilliant, not a very regular blogger but her observations on life and the way she puts it just make me literally laugh out loud.

upsydaisy Mon 15-Sep-14 12:49:13

Starling I like that Generation X, sounds soo much more modern. I will have to google it, got to admit I've not heard of it.

upsydaisy Mon 15-Sep-14 13:04:31

Back again. Thank you gransnet for reminding me of blogs and looking up my favourite blog because I missed this particular post and have just discovered it and its brightened up my day no-end. I think I have an affinity with Becky as I can identify with every single thing she said in this post.

Starling Mon 15-Sep-14 17:00:19

Have had a look - yes Becky is funny - but why does she hate gerbils?

janeainsworth Mon 15-Sep-14 23:16:58

Elegran There have actually been scholarly articles written about the differences in attitudes and values between the Silent Generation (that's you, Jingl and Galen) the Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and the Millenials.

Of course they are generalisations, and individual attitudes and values are personal, but as a way of illustrating how society has changed over the last 75 years I think it's fascinating, and organisations apparently find it useful in management of employees of different generations.

goldengirl Tue 16-Sep-14 16:12:31

I keep thinking about blogging as I often have something to say but once I start I'll never have time for anything else! And I'm not sure how to go about it really though I've explored How to Blog sites. Like anything new its a little scary. Perhaps I should just take the plunge. Oh and yes I'm a baby boomer!

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 16-Sep-14 16:52:06

Goldengirl - you could always start by writing a guest post for us!

Galen Tue 16-Sep-14 17:19:32

Me? Silent?

Galen Tue 16-Sep-14 17:20:18

Or jing for that matterhmm

Elegran Tue 16-Sep-14 17:27:15

Or me!

janeainsworth Tue 16-Sep-14 17:42:36

I thought you'd appreciate the irony grin
Love you all!! grin

Galen Tue 16-Sep-14 17:46:34

[hmph] emoticon