Do you remember when ... ?
- All the girls had ugly Gym uniforms?
- It took five minutes for the TV to warm up?
- A Quarter was a decent allowance?
And, generally, they conclude by lamenting how much better things were "back then", compared to the world today.
Of course, its true that there were many qualities of that era of "Remember When" that would be wonderful to restore. A good example that springs to my mind is how my buddies and me could safely be all over our neighborhood, from dawn to dusk, without any immediate adult supervision.
However, its just as true that there are aspects of "back then" that today's world is better off without. What I think of first is that, in those days, in the neighborhood that my buddies and me were all over, there were no "colored people" ... they all lived in their own part of town.
But, looking back and longing for what was good in the past, while letting the not-so-good fade away seems natural enough. What doesn't seem natural to me, though, is that these "Remember When" laments aren't accompanied by a call-to-action to actually do something to restore some of those wonderful qualities from "back then".
In an earlier post entitled "Rebuilding Lake Wobegon", I talked about my generation, the Baby Boomers, having “A Great Wealth of Wisdom” to offer younger generations. We were lavished, more than any other generation, with education. Moreover, we were raised by the GI Generation, who instilled us with a great work ethic. That meant, not only did we get a great education, we actually went out and tried to accomplish everything we could with that resource and in the process, grew the resource by honing it with experience. Included in our experience, of course, are those wonderful "Remember When" qualities, whose restoration would benefit today's world. As I said in that earlier post, if we don’t find a way to transfer this “Great Wealth”, IT WILL DIE WITH US! So, I want to encourage my fellow Baby Boomers to start looking for every opportunity we can find to make that transfer.
In just the past couple of weeks, I've realized I'm participating in an "opportunity area" where I don't encounter many other Baby Boomers. What I'm talking about is, generally, known as Social Media. Specifically, I'm talking about Twitter. Even more specifically, I'm talking about a Twitter Tweetchat Group that follows the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show. An overview on how this works is:
- Twitter allows groups to form by using "hashtags". This is, simply, a # symbol followed by other characters to designate a specific group. In the case of the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, its #hhrs. Get it?
- Once you log on to #hhrs, you "see" the others who are "tweeting", along with their "tweets".
- Since its a radio show, while "tweeting", you also listen to the show, online or via broadcast.
- The "tweets" are exchanged among the show's listeners, Producers and occasionally, Hugh and his guests.
- Although much of the "tweeting" is about what's on the show, many other topics get attention. As #hhrs "Regulars" get better acquainted, more personal "tweeting" goes on too ... "What are you doing for your birthday tomorrow?", "How did your Mom's medical treatment go?", etc.
- This group even takes on themes of its own, completely separate from the show. As an example, one day this past week, we decided for the group to take on the personality of the old Andy Griffith TV Show, with each "Tweeter" becoming a cast character and relating to Hugh Hewitt in the Sheriff Taylor role. Before you know it, almost everyone had changed their Twitter avatar to a picture of one of the Mayberry characters (Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, etc.), indicating that they were taking on that role. I know it sounds pretty goofy but it was fun.
Based on what I've told you so far, even if it doesn't sound like something that would be your "cup of tea", if nothing else, you can see how this would help in developing multi-tasking skills. However, as I was logging on to #hhrs recently, I recognized something strikingly familiar and in turn, potentially quite valuable in the effort I'm encouraging, to pass along our "Great Wealth". Here's what happened:
- Its not uncommon for a #hhrs "Regular" to make their presence known by "tweeting" a greeting to the group logged on at that time.
- On the occasion in question, I found myself "entering the scene" with the words. "Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree!"
- As I was recognizing the familiarity of what I'd done, almost instantly a "tweet" came back saying, "Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be." and "Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!" ... My words and the ones coming back to me were the lyrics to the "Mickey Mouse Club March" ... a song I'd first sung as a seven or eight-year-old kid, in front of my black-and-white TV, in 1955.
As I recognized that familiarity, I was struck with the realization that not everything about this "New Media" was so new. I'd done this before. Of course, there are major differences between black-and white TV and the Internet. Likewise, what an Elementary School aged kid learned from Jimmy Dodd and The Mouseketeers is not on the same level with the knowledge a Boomer can gain today from a discussion between Hugh Hewitt and Charles Krauthammer (as an example). And, #hhrs "Regulars" have real-time dialog whereas Mickey Mouse Club Members had their discussions later, on the playground or the following day, on the school grounds. But, in both cases, wholesome learning takes place, views are shared, relationships are established, the community is enriched and the culture benefits.
As I said earlier, with Social Media, I've realized I'm participating in an "opportunity area" where I don't encounter many other Baby Boomers. I want to change that and I hope this article will help. Please, don't be intimidated by this, as "New Media"! We've done this before ... in my case, starting over 50 years ago! Be courageous! By doing this, you won't have to resign yourself to just lamenting the loss of good qualities from that "Remember When" era. You can have an active role in restoring positive aspects of the culture "back then" to benefit society today. Remember, all you've got to do to have an impact here is ...
Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree!
Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!
WARNING! I need tell you about another part of this that hasn't changed ... ya still gotta do your homework first. With the Mickey Mouse Club, even if your parents worked and the kids were at home alone after school, they'd better be able to get their homework done, if they're going to watch TV, go to the playground, etc. Likewise with Tweetchat. It can be addictive.