I’m a new graduate about to embark on a new career, and I’m over 50 years old.
I wonder if it’s a sign of my age that the world seems to be changing too fast. But being a student has enabled me to grow and learn quickly–maybe not as quickly about some topics as my 20-something classmates, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve survived–I’ve arrived–I finished the Print Futures Professional Writing program at Douglas College.
I wasn’t quite finished my final term after the excitement of a smoothly-running, crowded Portfolio Show was over. I had to finish off a group website assignment. That kept me busy for a couple of hours on and off over the next few days. Three days ago I delivered the website on a CD to the assignment dropbox, and my work was over.
How do I feel now? The answer is a phrase I used once that one of my friends likes too much to let me forget: “Paralyzed by possibilities.” What kind of writer will I be in this world of constantly evolving media? Before Print Futures, I knew only the most elementary things about using a computer. Now I’m an advanced Word user. I’m proficient with InDesign. I can make my own website.
These are skills, the tools of writing, editing and design.
What about marketing, communication, the development of new kinds of relationships? Right now one of my main puzzles is to figure out how much I want to/should immerse myself in the social media networks. How dense do I want my network to be?
Sometimes I’m aghast at what I’ve lost. I used to be a regular reader! I used to read The Globe and Mail every day and most of my leisure time went to reading good novels and often writing book reviews about them that no one ever saw. Now, it seems that I hardly read at all, though my favourite part of Saturday is relaxing with the Arts section of The Globe and circling the titles of books I want to read with a red marker. My list of books-to-read keeps getting longer, but what am I actually doing during my leisure time?
I’m on the computer, of course! Email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn plus I’ve promised to upgrade this blog technically, decide on its focus, link it to all my other online “presences” and write in it regularly!
You could say I’m in the infatuation stage of this love affair.
Certain people are selling me on all the benefits of these connections, but I retain some healthy skepticism.
Everyone has to decide for him- or herself whether time spent on social media is truly beneficial for business reasons, personal reasons or both…or whether the time is wasted or is a diversion taken to avoid responsibilities and creative work.