Stick Ball, Kick the Can and Other Social Media

Being Social.  Old School…meet New School.

An article about stick ball and kick the can?  And what does that have to do with social media?  I know it sounds silly, but please read on.  It gets interesting.

Old School.  The Back Story.

Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Nebraska State Capital

 

I grew up in Nebraska in the 1960’s.  Lincoln, actually.  The part I cherish most about my childhood was living on the base.  My father was in the Air National Guard and my mother stayed at home.  It’s a time I remember fondly.  We lived on a real military base.  That still makes me smile.  I remember how important I felt and how proud I was of my dad every time we had to stop at the gate to enter the base.  He would show his military I.D. while proudly sporting all those “bars” and stripes on his uniform.  I loved when the guards would wave us through and let us pass.  It was like I was entering a special world.

Main Gate Lincoln Air Force Base

Main Gate Lincoln Air Force Base:  Photo courtesy of cardcow.com

 

The School

I remember elementary school, not so fondly, but fondly.  Does that make sense?  Back then it was called General Arnold Elementary School.  It was 1965 and I was a kindergartener.  I was the only Black kid in school…that sucked, I can’t lie.  Not only did I struggle with some of the kids, but also some of the adults and teachers.  It was cool, though, because the kids came from all over the country!  I remember one German kid named Dieter, and I had these two neighbor kids who were French.  I didn’t understand the dynamics of where they came from or why, but I remember I loved their accents.

It was a time when religion in schools was mandatory and required.  Every morning we bowed our heads for morning prayer, recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the flag, then waited for the daily announcements from the big wall speaker.  We would hear about the days events and lunch menu…then, school was on!

My first social media attempts started in grade school

References: Greater Arnold Heights Area Neighborhood Plan 1997: 1963/1964 Lincoln Air Force Base Guides

 

The Neighborhood

Being social in my neighborhood

An example of the 600 unit “new” housing constructed by 1960. This unit has a garage while many others “down the hill” have carports only. Photo courtesy of 1963 Lincoln AFB Guide

 

I guess we lived “down the hill”.  I remember our carport and that my dad would hide Christmas presents in the carport shed.  Yep.  I remember because I got my hide tanned after accidently finding the hiding place and then asking my dad…”why in the world is there a purple bike in the shed?”  Innocent enough.  🙂

The Church

We even had our own chapel on base.  I remember once I got kicked out of Sunday School for asking too many questions about the bible.  Gee whiz! I was only age 7 there bouts.  I thought I was merely “asking”…they told my dad I was “questioning” the bible.  Oops.

Being social at church in Sunday school

Base Chapel Lincoln Air Force Base.  Photo courtesy of cardcow.

 

Just so you know, I still ask too many questions about a lot of things!  I can’t help it – I’m inquisitive and I’m nosey.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  🙂

I know you’re waiting for it.  You’re asking yourself right now, “What’s she yapping about today”?

Stick Ball, Kick The Can…and other Social Media

New School.  The Now Story.  Did you stick with me?

The "New" Social Network

New School – Social Media

So what the heck am I ranting about today?  Stick Ball and Kick the Can, silly!  It’s what we called “being social” back in the day.  The school.  The neighborhood.  The church.  Playing and making up our own games, like stick ball and kick the can!  Being social used to mean playing and interacting with friends (usually outdoors unless it was raining) AND with adults (but only when you were asked).  We had to learn to be “seen and not heard” – in essence we learned to be respectful around our elders.  We learned to interact with manners and decorum…and we had to use “full sentences”.  LOL!

As for playing?  Well, that was a free for all.  You got kicked out after breakfast, and you stayed out.  You would stop for lunch (your place or at a friends).  Then, back outside and you better have your butts home before the street lights came on.  In a nut shell, we were encouraged and made to socialize back in the “Good Ole Days“.

Pin the tail on the Donkey - being social at birthday partiesNot everyone was popular.  Not everyone “liked” you and that was okay – you learned to deal with it.  “Pinning” something usually meant on the Donkey at a birthday party.  Not everyone was picked for the team…and not everyone got a trophy.  You learned how to take rejection, your learned consequences and to “buck up”, practice and get better for next time.

Social media is the same kind of animal – with a different skin.  It’s still interacting, but bulked up on steroids!  The interacting is instant!  You can keep up with family, friends, old co-workers, your kids.  You can share your life, your wedding, your anniversary.  The photos!  Holy Smokes!  You can share all those photos and videos in the “right here, right now”.  Ingenious!

YouTube...the cool Film Star of Social Media

You can meet new people.  Market yourself and look for that next career move.  Converse with like-minded individuals.  Keep up with the latest news and world happenings.  You can “book mark” your favorite websites and “pin” onto others who have the same interests!  The list is virtually endless.

Pinterest Social Media

The downside to all of this?  Where’s the face-to-face time?  How do you learn to play well with others…when there are no others?  How do you learn to socialize when you don’t see or talk to actual people.  Oh, I forgot…

SKYPE!  Silly me.  LOL!

Skype is keeping face to face real - Social Media

I’m beginning to really wrap my head around why social media and networking is taking the world by storm.  On my Facebook I get to see friends from WAY back.  All of my friends are there (including all of my ex’s), and I miss them!  I can’t afford to go see my friends or family as often as I’d like, but I can find them – they can find me, anytime, anywhere.

The Business of Being Social

The business of Social Media

As I grow my business and help others do the same, I realize the importance of leveraging social media to reach target markets.  Just like reaching out and interacting with family and friends, it has become necessary to do the same with business contacts, customers and clients.

We have a need to connect.  To share.  To learn.  To reach out to like-minded individuals – a hobby, or quest.  To be part of a group.  To discover new interests and content.  Social media and networking have answered this need and will continue to do so.

Even us baby boomers are getting on the band wagon.  Social media keeps us in touch with our grandkids, kids, old class mates.  We online date, we research, we join “boards” (and not Board of Directors).  We look for jobs and network with business associates.  We’re upgrading to iPads, iPhones, Smartphones, E-readers…the list goes on and on.  And don’t forget…us baby boomers lead the technology revolution with computers (read BS Fact #2).  We have our pulse on technology, and it’s fun!

The Downside Reality

Of course, there’s also the dark and dreary downside to social networking.  The good meets evil.  The hackers, the stalkers, the haters and extremists.  The defamation of character so easily spread with the click of a button.  Remember the old saying:  “stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?”  Well.  Truth be told…real words, just like the words from social media can, and does, hurt.  There are no take backs.

Are we addicted to technology? The downside to social media.

What about that timeline platform that shows how long you’ve “been absent” and unsocial.  The silent question is hanging out there.  Are you absent because you’re unsocial?  Do you not care about your “friends”?  Maybe you died and didn’t tell anyone (sorry…just kidding, sort of).  Then there is the downgrading of value systems, bullying, and bad language.  For those who are addictive by nature, the distraction of social media can feed our psyche.  There are the lurkers, the lost productivity, those that use it to spend hours away from their families, and those that retreat and hide from the outside world.  These disadvantages come cloaked with the clandestine reality of little to no emotional connections, and possibly gives license to being rude and hurtful.

With all of this connectedness, we can begin to feel disconnected.  Weird, but true.  Quality conversations have gone by the wayside and is replaced with short snippets of text and emotionless emoticons that muddy up understanding and thoughtfulness that real interaction can provide.


The Conclusion – Part 1

Looking at the history of being social has been an interesting trip for me.  My friends will tell you (actually, anyone who knows me), that I’m a social animal, a beast.  I Love People.  I love being funny, and making them laugh.  I love being there spiritually and emotionally when they need me.  I’m the one who will always lend that ear to someone who needs it.

Keep on looking homies...I'm not logged in for Chat or any other social media.

But I gotta be honest.  You’re probably not going to fine me on social media sites often.  Look all you want.  It takes up too much of my time, and sometimes my “friends” become frustrated when I don’t keep answering back on their posts and continuing with “long conversations”.  Or they think I don’t like them anymore or they take it personal when I haven’t responded to a message.  And there is the part of me who has to “be fair”.  If I comment on one post or reach out to one friend, shouldn’t I reach out to more?

I used to feel guilty about my lack of participation, but I don’t any more.  Too much social media made me feel like they were in control of my time, and not me.  Silly, I know.  But that’s the addictive side I hide.  The addiction of guilt.

The Conclusion – Part 2

Social media is the new buzz word for business development.  Okay, maybe not so new.  But what a powerful platform to be able to share your passion, knowledge and expertise.  It’s also a good place to share recipes.  🙂  I like those things.  I love that you can connect with like-minded individuals and “grow” your network and business beyond the scope of family and friends.  I love that I can find and read things that, to me, are interesting.  I gravitate towards new and groundbreaking information, and I love to use it to keep my pulse on what’s happening in the world, such as keeping up to date on the political climate of the world.  Also keep in mind, social media should not be your only choice for marketing your business.  Don’t scare away your “friends list”.  Diversify!


THUMBS UP!

All my ranting put aside, I still give social media a THUMBS UP.  I definitely see value in connecting and hanging out with like minded people, and I find it more engaging than hanging out in a bar.  Do I miss my old fashioned days of socialization?  YOU BET!  But I love that my world has expanded beyond my neighborhood and community.

Wealthy Affiliate Community is my new home - a whole new meaning of social media

Here at Wealthy Affiliate we have a robust community.  I love hanging out in there (you can find my profile here).  I’m the little hippie grannie in the upper right-hand corner.  Our community is full of nurturing “helpers” who assist and support each other in learning how to start, grow and be successful with our businesses.

I do love the interaction.  I write blogs there, help out with questions, participate in trainings and webinars, and sometimes I just PM (private message) a homie and just connect.  But…I schedule my time only 1 or 2 partial days per week and I stay pretty dedicated to that schedule.  On those days I engage, I add people to my network, and reach out to anyone who needs me.  Now, do I only do those 2 days exclusively?  No.  I’m there when needed.  But I’ve learned when to put blinders on and focus on building my business.  I won’t let it distract me.

Well, now.  I’m done ranting for today.  I got kinda long-winded, didn’t I?  It’s easy to write about something fun, and this was a fun article today.  I got to go back in time, research my old “stomping grounds” remember some funny stories, then “share” them here, with you.  How social of me!

Until next time…

Sheila Signature

 

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Sheila, great post. You do an excellent job examining both sides of the social media coin. Your flashbacks to the good old days of socializing remind me a lot of what I’m trying to accomplish with my website boardgamedad.com

    It’s all about my quest to get families interacting face to face again.

    I think you’re right, though, that the good outweighs the bad when it comes to social media. At my work, for example, there is a gentleman who was originally very averse to it. But, when he finally got on Facebook it wasn’t long before he connected with a half brother that he had been searching years for.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the site, I enjoyed yours as well! I love connecting with like minded people. I miss the old days (I swore I’d never say that) and the new days are great too. I do miss the old neighborhood and my friends, and I miss the day to day interactions we had making up games to play (plus countless hours of board games on those rainy days), but it sure is nice to connect with them on Facebook and keep up…especially with all of my friends kids, and grandkids.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking an interest.
      Peace, and make it a great day!

      Sheila.

  2. lol – what a wonderful trip down memory lane! I used to ask too many questions as a kid too – I went to Catholic school! I argued about dogs going to heaven! I said if that was true, then St. Francis would not be happy there! 🙂

    I have exes on my social media too!! I miss them until they speak!! lol

    Great article – so true!!!! It has it’s good and it’s bad!!

    But mostly good! We’ve gotta see it that way, right?

    • Debbie…You crack me up! That is SO funny about St. Francis!!! First…at least I didn’t go to Catholic school. I can only imagine my fate would have been cast in stone that I shall live and dwell in the house of the devil. And second, it’s true; I hook up with ex’s but in a good (safe distance) kind of way. It always cracks me up when my first husband hits me first on Facebook. I’m like dang…I just signed on dude!

      And yes, we gotta see social media in a good way. It’s the new bread and butter!

      Peace, to you my friend!
      Sheila.

  3. Thanks for sharing your life with us. This was a very interesting read. I used to only think that social media was bad because some people became too addicted to it. Now, I realize it brings opportunities, and there is more good than bad.

    • I’ve had to overcome my aversion to social media. I do get value out of it and I love reaching out and connecting with my old school chums. I just didn’t like how much time I felt it took to make everyone happy – then I realized it was my personal issue and no one else’s. Social media is becoming the new breed of business now. What a great way to reach markets we never would have the old way – it’s mind boggling. So I figure it’s time to take another look and get on the bandwagon. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I love sharing stories and I’m glad you found this one interesting and beneficial.
      Peace, and make it a great day!

      Sheila.

  4. Hi there Sheila

    I can see you really enjoyed writing this article. I could feel it while reading it. I have to admit at the beginning I really didn’t know where you were going with this thinking “really, what has this got to do with social media” lol you got me there.

    It was fun to read but really I never thought of how similar life was to social media today. Technology is a great thing but like you said there are also some downsides. People say they don’t care but really it does hurt when you see something written about you that you don’t like. You think about how many people have seen it, who they have told, are they talking about it right now etc.

    At the end of the day it has become part of our lives and is very important from a business point of view to extend your reach.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Helen

    • Thanks for taking time to read through my “story”. I love using stories as a way to come full circle with an action or thought. I’m glad you stuck with it – ultimately I always have a thought provoking message to share.

      The aspect of being “social” has changed so drastically in my life that I had to write about. We’re living in a world where being social is technology (intangible) based and less “people based” (the tangible). I think this is why so many business fail and why turnover is so high. We have people in leadership roles who haven’t really learned to socialize and interact with human beings on a personal level.

      I believe it’s all about balance, and a delicate one at that.

      Thank you again, Helen. I appreciate that you stopped by and I hope you enjoyed my bit of humor. 🙂
      Make it a great day!

      Sheila.

  5. Great read Sheila! I too was a military brat. My father was in the Air Force and we lived on several military bases as I was growing up. We lived on Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota for 4 years. Not a lot of black people on that base either lol. However, those years are some of my fondest memories growing up. I like how social media allows you to connect with those people from back in the day. I agree with you that it is a tool that should be used by you and not let it control you.

    • So nice to meet another military brat!!! Do you still roll your socks and put them in order by color? Fold your underwear? And do you still do military corners on your sheets? LOLOLOL!!!! I DO!

      And you know…reminiscing is one of the reasons I started this blog. Yes…I also help baby boomers start their own blogs and online businesses, but in the process we get to talk about the “old days”. I LOVE new school too. I find it exciting and exhilarating and I love learning new things from the youthful climate. They are simply brilliant with technology.

      I’ve come to love social media and networking. I’ve been able to connect with people I haven’t seen in decades…and that is AWESOME. And it also bring me cool people, like you, that I can connect with. It doesn’t get any better than that! 🙂

      It’s so nice to meet you and I’m so glad you stopped by and allowed me to help you reminisce a bit. Check back often…I got some great skills to share and some great stories as well.

      Peace, and make it a great day!
      Sheila.

  6. Susan

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Sheila. I was also a military brat. Until my father retired when I was 8, we lived in Texas, California, Germany, and Panama. Such good memories. Hardly remember being indoors. I think even dogs could wander outside alone. (?) I think all kids back then could attest to having stepped in a pile.

    Fast forward to today.

    I’m relatively new to social media. Raising kids left little time to explore FB, Twitter, etc. I do prefer the “old” way, but that’s just because it’s what I’m familiar with. What’s better today is the ability for everyone to stay connected much easier. That’s a good thing. =)

    Looking forward to another great read from you!

    • Hi Susan! It’s so good to see you! Your comment got me thinking…I bet most of the people our age are “Old school” military brats. I just had a visitor stop by yesterday to thank me as well. That’s so cool.

      This post reminded me that I still roll my socks and stack by color, I still do military corners on my sheets and I still color coordinate my closet. Weird! I swear our father’s are still standing over our shoulders.

      I tell ya, I hardly remember being indoors either, unless it was raining. All my crew would congregate at my house because I had all the newest board games. Man! Those were fun times.

      Social media has new school board games now. Instead of CANDY LAND, now it’s CANDY CRUSH! 🙂

      Again, it’s so good to see you! You have a wonderful rest of the week and have a fabulous weekend.
      Sheila.

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