I'm No Dinosaur. I'm Just Big for My Age.
By Chere B. Estrin
Does anyone over 50 feel like a dinosaur? We didn't grow up with computers. We did invent them, that's true. I'm hearing more and more about technology moving so fast that by the time you learn one thing, it's old, gone and done with.
So, 60 years of age is the new 40. Does that mean 20 years were lost or is it 20 years hasn't happened yet. What are you doing besides exercise, eating healthy and Botox to erase those years? And why, if 60 is 40, do you look like your grandma?
Let's take this social media thing. You're definitely a dinosaur if you're not social mediaing it. So, I'm twittering, I'm linking, I'm facing, I'm blogging, I am pinning (although with what, god only knows) but I'm no closer to anyone than before. Where are my friends?
I have almost 7,000 followers on LinkedIn. That doesn't count some of the groups I own where there's 9,400; 8,700, 2,000, 1500 and I don't know what else. I send eBooks, I retweet, I'm friends with people I'll never meet. In fact, I've never met any of them.
Let's see. Straighten me out here. You set up LinkedIn to do business. It's the career/business network. You're supposed to look professional and get business or job offers. But it's not polite to talk about your business, you can't advertise and you sure as heck can't solicit anyone. You are a dinosaur if you don't have your profile on it with your airbrushed, digitized, photo shopped, natural picture.
So you peek in to see how many people viewed your profile today. But you're not supposed to ask them what they thought or could you help them find something. Then there's the posting. You can post about an article that you haven't written (I write a lot) because to mention an article about yourself is tacky. Absolutely, positively no self-promotion allowed. You get written up nationally but it's egotistical to talk about it. You have to wait for one of your friends to talk about it for you and I just told you about the nebulous 7,000.
For the posting portion of the program, you're just supposed to think of witty things 24/7 or deliver a post of an article you don't care about so people notice you. I'm getting noticed, all right. I just can't reach out to them.
Same with Facing it. I think people are reeeallly stretching it here with stuff to write about. I feel sorry for some of these little kids whose parents post their pictures every single day. Problem is, I am not going to expose my family (I've been cyberstalked viciously by a paralegal down in Atlanta who is obsessed with me) so I'm not going to go through that again. Honestly. I don't know what to talk about on Facebook. I never learned that small talk stuff.
There's only so many times you can talk about the 105 degree heat, my weight loss of 115 lbs or comment on someone's cute puppy. I refuse to talk about driving to work and the delay I had getting my Starbucks. Does that make me less approachable? Or does it make me more like a real human being. And, just what is it that I'm supposed to do with 7,000 LI followers? Particularly under the politically correct guidelines and no-no's. For that matter, how do you know when anyone reads anything you posted on LinkedIn?
It's the great unknown. Are there readers out there? If so, give us a holler....Hello! <wave wave> we're over here! Am I the kid who noticed the Emperor wasn't wearing any clothes? Does this make me a dinosaur or does it make me realistic? Dinosaurs are somehow hard to miss. And no one wants to tell you that you're just totally inept.
If you've read this post, help me out here. Signal to me. Post to my blog. Send me an IN email. Write here, put something in the LI groups I own and cultivated: KNOW, OLP, Legal Vendors, Paralegal Mgrs, Vitual Paralegal, Paralegal Group, eDiscovery Paralegal. I may have left one or two out.
Being a dinosaur doesn't have to be that bad. Really, it doesn't. It kind of has a cache all its own. No one wants to be labeled a dinosaur. I don't care how many Godzilla movies are made. All dinosaurs want is just a little acknowledgement that they're still here, still pokin' along and still kickin'. I am still kickin, aren't I?
About the Author
Chere B. Estrin is the CEO of Paralegal Knowledge Institute; President & Co-Founding member of Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP) and Co-Founder of the International Paralegal Association.
A former Paralegal Administrator for two major firms, she has held founded one of the first exclusively paralegal and contract attorney staffing organizations, held executive positions in law firms, litigation support companies and was Sr. Vice President of a legal staffing division of a $5 billion publicly held corporation.
She is the author of 10 books in the legal field including The Paralegal Career Guide 4th Edition and has written hundreds of articles. Ms. Estrin has been interviewed by publications such asNewsweek, The New York Times,The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Entrepreneur,and other prestigious publications. Ms. Estrin is the Editor-in-Chief for KNOW, the Magazine for Paralegals and the OLP eJournal. She is a regular contributor to the Chicago Law Bulletin on legal careers. One recognition she is most appreciative of includes recipient of the Los Angeles Paralegal Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ms. Estrin is a national seminar speaker, co-founding member of the International Paralegal/Practice Management Association (IPMA) and recipient of the Century City/Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Women of Achievement Award. She has written the popular blog,The Estrin Report, since 2005.