My New Mantra: “I’m Too Old For This” #MondayBlogs #2old4this

As too many of you know, I struggle with keeping up with social media.  I often feel overwhelmed with the tsunami of memes, messages, Likes, Invites, and other cacophonous clatter that greets me whenever I go to the feed of my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ accounts.  (Strangely I don’t feel that way when I go to the Reader on WordPress.)  I often think to myself, “I’m too old for this.”  Now I do have some friends older than me who seem to manage their social media threads with grace.  I don’t care.  I still feel “too old” for this.

In yesterday’s Sunday New York Times, Dominique Browning expressed in the most clear (and enviable) prose what I’ve been feeling and why I should embrace that feeling.  In her essay, I’m Too Old for This, Browning celebrates the psychological benefits of getting older, of being able to let go:

The key to life is resilience, and I’m old enough to make such a bald statement. We will always be knocked down. It’s the getting up that counts. By the time you reach upper middle age, you have started over, and over again.

Browning focuses for a bit on women’s perception of their own beauty (or their perception of their lack of beauty) over time.  Until recently, I hated nearly everything about my body:  I’m overweight.  I have fat ankles.  I want straight hair, not hair that waves with a mind of its own.  My skin still breaks out and I’m two years shy of sixty.  Brown advises that we simply reach for the larger sized pants in the closet, the ones we wisely did not give up to Goodwill, and be thankful that we have healthy bodies.  I do try to be thankful even if some of my body likes to roll over the waistband of my yoga pants.

There is a certain freedom in being able to say, “I’m too old for this.”  At my workplace, the atmosphere can be toxic with everyone overworked and each effort to get work done being second-guessed by the politically motivated.  I feel too old for this.  I’ve seen it and heard it all before.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living Groundhog Day every day, except I get the weekends off.  I’m too old for this.

I’m too old to worry myself about social media. If I close my LinkedIn account, will anyone notice?  If I close my Tumblr account, will anyone notice?  If I close my Google+ account, will anyone notice?  More importantly, will I notice?

Now I can spot trouble 10 feet away (believe me, this is a big improvement), and I can say to myself: Too old for this. I spare myself a great deal of suffering, and as we all know, there is plenty of that to be had without looking for more.

I have unwittingly gotten into “trouble” because I was casting about, trying to be involved in an milieu that is better suited to people with short-term attention spans as well as long-term memory loss.  I’m definitely too old to engage in social media dust-ups, innocently or not.

But I do enjoy my blog, particularly the environment created by my blogging community.  It feels like a safe place.  I can be myself knowing that if people don’t like me they simply won’t follow me and that will be the end of that.  And I feel less fragmented when I’m here.

So when I think I’m too old for this, in the context of my writing and blogging, I know that it’s the fragmentation that I struggle with and that I need to correct.  Let’s see if anyone notices when I do.

By the way, Dominique Browning was wrong about one thing:  being too old to have green hair.  Take it from me.  One is never too old to have green, blue, pink, or purple hair.


39 thoughts on “My New Mantra: “I’m Too Old For This” #MondayBlogs #2old4this

  1. Colored hair is always age appropriate if you can carry it off. Which you can with aplomb while many half your age couldn’t. You got to have the Je ne sais quoi. So there’s that!

    I have not been on the WordPress reader in months. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I follow my loyals and they follow me but I cannot seem to shoot for more than that. Which is going against the whole practice of blogging. Maybe I’m just too old for making new friends! 😉

    • You are so right that there’s only so many hours in the day. I’m finding more people saying that we have to realize we cannot be all places at all times, even if those places are virtual 😉 I’m very happy with the friends I’ve made here through WordPress. If I make more, fine, but I don’t actively pursue more friendships to be honest. And besides, the best friendships grow over time. Thanks for your comments about my hair 🙂

  2. Pingback: Not too old for this: Musical Monday #MondayBlogs #HarryNilsson | 1WriteWay

  3. I went way overboard with all the social media stuff when I first started blogging, but finally got it down to only spending so much time per day on sharing, curating content, and making blog comments. Many times, it still feels like shooting fish in a barrel. I’m not a web or marketing expert, but it seems like that’s what is needed half of the time to truly get traffic, etc. I see people who seem to be online all the time and just think how nice it is to purposely not be online during the weekends, etc. As a society, we are too plugged in and try to be everywhere at once which just dilutes the effect. Also too, we are living in an age where are essentially make media out of ourselves by that we chose to post and share. Image cultivation is too all-consuming. Hmmm, I need to journal about this topic and see what mileage I can get out of it 😉

    • Love this: “it still feels like shooting fish in a barrel.” That’s exactly how I feel. And I think you could get a lot of mileage journaling about this stuff. My husband spent an hour this morning talking about “extreme selfies” and what does that mean in terms of our humanity. Geez, even when I’m not on social media, I’m talking about it 😉

  4. I missed this, just getting caught up (I miss a lot of posts over the weekends). I’m either too old or too old fashioned. I don’t have a smart phone despite being harassed by my friends. So, no instagram or twitter. If I’m not near my laptop I can’t access Facebook or Word Press. I’ve got a pinterest account but not really sure what to do! And, I’m okay with this! 🙂 Your hair looks amazing!!

    • Oh, I love your comment! I have a “smartphone” but it’s pay-as-you-go and social media sucks up a lot of data bytes so I’ll probably be removing Facebook from it. Plus, it has such a little screen! Thanks for the compliment on my hair. I do love it 🙂

  5. I just turned 37 and I find myself saying that much more often then I was initially comfortable with.. but you’re right, it’s nothing to feel bad about. I remember being a kid and thinking I was ‘too old’ for the kids menu at restaurants. I didn’t feel bad about it then, so why should I now? 🙂

    Like you, I find comfort in just using the blog and popping into the social media sites occasionally. No sense in getting worked up over what the kids are doing these days! Like you say, they’ll get along just fine without me.

    • I also suspect that many of my “followers” on these other social media are either bots or people more interested in quantity versus quality. I know they won’t miss me 🙂

  6. Yup, I came to this conclusion too about juggling social media. It’s tough. I deleted the Facebook page for the review blog because it was long neglected. Focus on what I like doing and not so much on the rest. How have you been? Haven’t chatted in awhile.

    • I’m fine, Brad. How are you? You see, this is the problem: I miss chatting with people I like because I’m juggling too stuff. I’ll be deleting a few accounts simply I rarely check into them. Just knowing I have all these accounts make me tired 😉 You summed it up nicely: “Focus on what I like doing and not so much on the rest.”

  7. I love this post! This echoes so much of what I’ve been feeling lately. I think I need less social media and more time out in nature. Nature always makes me feel young again 🙂

    • Hey, Lauren, that is SO true! One reason I fail with social media is because when I do have time, I usually opt to go for a walk than to check my accounts 😉 Spending time in nature is a great way to get in touch with the real priorities in one’s life.

  8. Great hair with the waves and all! I feel just like you do about social media. It’s all too overwhelming and for what? I’m slowly returning from a two month blogging holiday, hopefully with a much more relaxed attitude about blogging. Will it really matter if I don’t post every week, if I don’t comment on every post in my inbox?
    Thanks for saying what I’m sure a lot of us are thinking! 🙂

  9. Hi Marie – two things here brought me out of my self-imposed absence from blogging (unrelated to the subject of this post). First, I completely share these feelings (as apparently others do as well :-). Fragmenting life into so many social media outlets gets overwhelming, and soon I feel like fleeing from all of them. The only reason I don’t bail on Facebook is because of my family and a few close friends. The rest I could do without 🙂 Perhaps it’s time to create a new Facebook page and only tell those I really care about.

    Second, love not only the gray hair, but sporting the colors is awesome! My wife and I love gray (hers is starting to turn) … and I want her to get some colors like yours. Or at least one color at time 🙂

    • Dave, I’ve missed you!!! How sweet of you to pop up for this post. I have the same issue with Facebook and have been seriously thinking of doing as you suggest: start a new account and only invite the people I really want to keep in touch with. The rest won’t miss me anyway 🙂 Regarding gray hair: I highly recommend your wife have the colors professionally done. And I did start with one color–pink–that my stylist painted just on the tips of my hair. Over time, she added streaks up to the crown and a few through my bangs. And we did experiment with a streak of blue and a streak of light green. A few months ago I took the plunge, brought a photo of what I wanted for my hair, and let my stylist to the rest. I love it, and so does my husband 🙂 Since my hair is dry, I only wash it once or twice a week so the color stays for a very long time. It will fade but the fading can be very attractive too. Okay, I hope I’ve sold you both on it 🙂

      • Hi Marie – thanks. It’s nice to be missed 🙂 I’ve pretty much lost touch with most of the blog world, though I do try and keep up with a few of my favorites, like yours! Always enjoyed your posts … and still do.

        As for Facebook, in the near future I’ll probably go ahead and pull the ol’ switcher-roo and use a new one for people I actually care about 🙂 Make scrolling through updates much easier *and* quicker.

        I think my wife is ready to give a little color a shot. We both like it, I think she’s just afraid to take the plunge 🙂 I’ll show her your lovely hair and I’m pretty sure that will convince her that it’s time to put in that streak of red, or purple, or whatever. When we do it, I’ll send you a picture 🙂

        Have a great weekend!

  10. Keeping up with all the social media sites seems to be full-time job.
    I think being too old to do things depends on the person. I remember years ago thinking that my husband’s grandmother seemed so much older than my mother, even though they were actually about the same age.
    Love you hair! 🙂

    • Thank you for the compliment on my hair. I am definitely not “too old” to play with my hair color. It’s one of the perks of having gray hair 🙂 I think the “I’m too old for this” is seeing people much younger than myself navigate the social media seas with such ease and dexterity. But truth be told, it’s just a time suck, a way to procrastinate and to avoid my dreaded drafts 😉

  11. I would like to give up the stuff I don’t understand. (Pinterest, Facebook, Linkedin) Interesting blog and I’m with you on being too old for most things.

    • John, I wish I could give up Facebook but my nephews and their families are too integrated into it. But it’s very tempting, especially with all the weird stuff that keeps popping up in my newsfeed 😉 And I really have no use for LinkedIn. I’m trying to close out my current career, not continue it 🙂

    • Hey, Peter, I like the community feel too but I haven’t been visiting many blogs in part because of the other social media stuff I have going on. Another good reason to simplify 🙂

  12. I love your hair, Marie! Like yourself, I’m unable to keep up with all of the social media outlets. New sites seem to pop up, making it impossible. I just want to write…

  13. I can’t keep up with all the social media sites either. In fact, I doubt anyone really can, not if they have other responsibilities. I suspect we all have one or two we’re good about getting to. The rest suffer our negligence. At least that’s the case for me.

    Your hair looks wonderful!!

    • Hey, Carrie, I know some people prefer some social media over others (like Google+ to Facebook) so I once thought it would be a good idea to “spread” myself around. My brain just can’t deal with the fragmentation, though, and, yes, a lot of that has to do with having other responsibilities. Ironically, too, (or maybe not ironically), I tend to follow the same people through the different social media so …. that makes no sense, at least to me 🙂

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