Picture this. A birthday party for two littlies then seven of us at the dinner table: two grandparents; four middle generation…. and one 11-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter (she having deemed she was too old to eat with the three younger grandchildren who were now watching a movie).
In talking about the current sci-fi movie ‘sensation’ her 30-something uncle said he hadn’t enjoyed it. Her quick response was something along the lines of old people are not meant to like movies designed for young people. When the laughter died down the conversation turned to the latest boy band that had all the teenagers swooning over them (her included. When did she get to be a teenager I wonder?). Needless to say only the 11-year-old - and maybe her mother – knew the names, hairstyles and quirks of all five of them.
I thought I was doing OK knowing which movie they were talking about – adding my piece of information to the mix that I’d been told by a young man in his early 20s that the book was much better (hooray for the book!) – and I knew the name of the boy band. I also knew there were 5 of them and that they were Irish, and the titles of their debut song and album, but the fact that I didn’t know each of their names was a total fail.
Making some comment in defence (or was that retaliation) that I couldn’t keep up the response I received from the middle generation was something along the lines of – well you should! Stay connected was the message. The only way to reach people today was to stay connected. Whether by Facebook (I manage, just) and any or all of the other social media options available, one must be connected. Know what they like and why.
So, I wondered what did people do to stay connected before all of this technology became available? How did someone find out about something new and interesting? The answer then was word of mouth. Is this modern technology and social media the new word of mouth or do we still need people to actually talk to one another? Certainly, there were three generations talking and the discussion ranged from what the youngest liked to what the oldest had just written.
Do you know which movie I am talking about? Or which boy band (and their names and the titles of their music)? How do you stay connected? Only through ‘word of mouth’ does news of the latest ‘in thing’ travel.
It is only by being connected can we spread the word of our writing to the wider audience. Are you connected? Am I?