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Yikety Yak – Yikes – It’s The Yik Yak App!

More on the controversial smartphone app Yik Yak in a moment, but reading about it made me wonder if we shouldn’t bring back parents and grandparents who are not judgmental party poopers – but who are adults with knowledge and competence. Adults know some things that children do not because they are not mature enough, or able to understand and store it in their still developing brains.

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These adults can and SHOULD make some judgments and then insist on not “blind obedience” (sadly we had to deal with lots of that) but rather “compliance” – a word I like MUCH better and is both softer and more appropriate in the 21st century. These judgments need to be shared, not to be arbitrary, cruel or bossy two-shoes, but to protect young children and teens from their under-developed minds. That and the resulting stupid, inappropriate and cruel things they are capable of doing just because they are young.

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Enter Yik Yak.

From the NY Times: “Like Facebook or Twitter, Yik Yak is a social media network, only without user profiles. It does not sort messages according to friends or followers but by geographic location, or, in many cases by university … Think of it as a virtual community bulletin board … Much of the chatter is harmless. Some of it is not.”

“Yik Yak is the wild west of anonymous social apps, said Danielle Keats Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland and the author of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace”.

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Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, recent graduates of Furman University in South Carolina are the developers of the app which they intended to be democratic – giving everyone a chance to share even if they did not have many “friends” or “followers”. Sounds good — no fabulous women over 60 are down on democracy, but the iPhone and Android app, which is one of the most frequently downloaded in the Apple Store, seems to have created some very difficult and ugly situations for students, teachers, deans, and others on college campuses. Sadly, it is gaining ground in middle and high schools too.

** Google’s Android has recently dropped the app from its app store charts. It hasn’t been banned, it is just harder to find.

Despite all the push back and anger of those injured by its ability to anonymously publish anything about anyone that is not a direct threat (that would be a no no – police recently tracked down a freshman who made a direct threat to someone – he was arrested) there isn’t much anyone can do about it. Free speech of course trumps most efforts at curtailing it. But shouldn’t all adults who know about this application ask our own children and grandchildren to explain why and how they are using it? In other words, we fabulous women need to take some responsibility!

The developers feel that better uses will happen – via NY Times: “It’s definitely still a learning process for us. And we’re definitely still learning how to make the community more constructive.”

I agree the developers are still learning. However, it seems to me some of that learning needed to go on prior to the launch of the application. The experience of millions has informed most of us that giving young people a free pass to say anything they want without any consequences and to be able to do it anonymously doesn’t sound like a good idea. It puzzles me who thought it would lead to good?

Shouldn’t we as adults be on top of this stuff? Or maybe we are too busy on our own social media accounts to pay much attention. I remember my parents saying dozens of times “you will understand when you grow up”. Most of the time I did – maybe we need to give our children and grandchildren a chance to say the same at least a few times. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Patty Gill Webber

 

Meet Debbie Wemyss

Note: We receive no compensation or commission from any women we introduce to you through Fabulous. These posts are based on one to one interviews with the individual woman, shaped into a blog post by Patty and/or Cathy, and fact checked by the woman being interviewed.

Cathy and I keep meeting fabulousover60 women. We have decided to start a new blog topic — meeting peers, friends, new contacts, family members, school mates — anyone who strikes us as having things to say to our readers and ourselves. We are hopeful this new feature will inspire and inform you. Contact us if you or someone you know would be a great candidate for a “meet blog”. Click here to contact us about suggested person.

Describe your passion and share why it is so important to you right now in your life?

Debbie’s current successful and growing business is just over 3 years old. Her focus? Helping people use LinkedIn successfully. She sees her business as a continuation of who she was and still is — a person who loves to help others. Raised by non-profit executives, and a non-profit executive herself, Debbie’s business sprung from necessity and has flourished because she has found a need in the changing world, and is filling it. With the force of her strong, straight forward personality, her tight, strategic focus on a genuine need people will pay for, and with professionalism honed from years of working and striving, Debbie is Fabulous.

Finding herself “downsized” at 57 — at the height of the great recession–for the first time ever from her highly successful non-profit career with two children to put through college, Debbie’s first steps were to keep trying to re-enter her own field. With glowing work reviews, wonderful references and a “contact list” the envy of many non-profit executives, and over 300 resumes to every possible connection/option, Debbie realized the workplace had dramatically changed and she had to change with it to survive.

Debbie decided to use her great learning skills and dive into understanding social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – the big four – became her passion. Carefully studying, self educating herself and keeping her positive focus she soon realized that although all four were intriguing and important, she chose the number one business site in the world – LinkedIn – and began to focus.

Always a proficient networker Debbie went back to her involvement with Career Source where she was part of an ongoing monthly support group of senior executives trying to find work. While she couldn’t get permission to conduct a workshop on LinkedIn, she started, with the encouragement of others, to help people with their LinkedIn job search efforts. She soon began to see many had a real interest in the skills she had acquired. Her business began there — with job seekers and helping them use LinkedIn effectively to land interviews.

In the 3 years since founding DW Consulting Solutions she has serviced over 450 people in 7 countries — and is busier than ever. As a startup coaching job seekers, Debbie now works with corporations and thriving enterprises as well as individuals. She has recently added some people to help support her growing business. Seeing LinkedIn as the “yellow pages of the times”, she has an excitement, passion and desire to help others use the site to their advantage professionally. With over 5.3 billion searches done on LinkedIn in 2013, she sees no stopping the juggernaut that now has over 300 million users.

What lessons have you learned and want to share with other fabuloussover60 women?

Organized as I have come to expect, Debbie had her sharp answer ready.

She ticked them off:

1. Decide. While it might seem it would get easier to make decisions as we age, for many of us it is harder than ever. But deciding is the factor that starts the whole process moving forward. Deciding to do something — anything, is critically important to moving forward in your 60s. Debbie decided to skip listening to any naysayers, to not worry about being over 60 and just keep moving forward.

2. Be focused. You have to take risks that matter — and do it with caution but faith. Stay the course you have selected for yourself and don’t allow distractions to get you off track.

3. Be persistent. Believe in yourself and the path you have chosen. Whatever that path is, stick with it.

What has been your biggest/best or worse surprise since turning 60?

Turning philosophical Debbie shared her “ah ha” moments of looking at photos of herself and her friends and thinking: “yes, we are aging” and “yes, life is short”. And, having the realization we all seem to be having of learning about one or another friend with one or another illnesses or sudden passing drives home the fact that we’re not getting any younger.

Taking these “newly sensed” insights, she began to feel that there was “no time to waste” and if she wanted to do, to see, or to be something the time was and is now.

What makes you feel fabulousover60?

Loving my life right now. Living in the present and moving forward knowing time is short so I better be enjoying it. Debbie also cited the freedom of doing what she wants, when she wants taking full accountability for the results but knowing corrections can be made swiftly because she is at the helm.

Favorite movie, book or other suggestions to share?

Debbie sees her new work and passion bringing all sorts of personal as well as professional opportunities to her life. She hasn’t seen it but looks forward to getting a laugh from “new/old” love with the Diane Keaton/Michael Douglas romance ‘And So It Goes’ in theaters this summer.

Debbie didn’t hesitate for a moment when making a book recommendation: Reid Hoffman’s (co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn) The Start-up of YOU.  She has read it multiple times. It’s now on my list.

Final thoughts.

I met Debbie through an online seminar she gave for a business partner of mine. Blown away by her enormous drive, precise information and on-target help with LinkedIn I hired her shortly after to help with my own LinkedIn presence. Impressive, warm, sharp and determined, I am thrilled to have met Debbie Wemyss and to have added her to my professional and personal contacts. Not many people can start a successful business near 60 — but Debbie shows it can be done — by being true to herself and working like crazy.

Contact info:
Debbie Wemyss (weemz)
Independent LinkedIn Specialist
DW Consulting Solutions
debbie@dwconsultingsolutions.com

 

 

My Breaking News

Hopefully someone from CNN is reading this blog and realizing how ridiculous it is to make everything and anything “breaking news”. I thought perhaps making my life in any way connected to breaking news might make them change their ways. It is doubtful but I am putting my two cents out here.

The kidnapping of the girls in Nigeria? YES, this continues to be breaking news. And interestingly it took Twitter to make it mainstream. Not that I tweet — but reading them fills you in. Maybe this will convince me to start tweeting — again, doubtful but possible. I never say never anymore — a sure sign of being fabulous I think. ‘Never’ is for kids and “know it all’s” – otherwise known as young adults. It ends when you finally figure out that your whole life does not need to consist of corrections related to your parents’ lives. Think about it and/or read The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.

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My related breaking news to the Nigerian girls story – my high school The Ursuline School has jumped into solidarity with the kidnapped girls. This made me proud that I am and always will be “an Ursuline girl”. Good to know that good education matters. We always hoped it did. We actually got an education to build our lives – not just get a job.

More news, although not breaking.

Wrote a blog post a long time ago about memory loss: a bane of our fabulous years. Started doing Lumosity and have continued to fight the good fight working several days a week doing brain games that really are if not fun, amusing and challenging. I can report that my “brain profile” has significantly improved. I started in the 5th (yes, the 5th) percentile (talk about humbling for a woman who aced school) – and am now safely in the 50% range of my age group. Get on it if you aren’t already. I am actually remembering more names now — though I still say at least once a day “you know her… she was in…”

We are downsizing. Like many boomers we are going to get rid of the excess and have one rather than two home bases. It dawned on me that the way to have fun and travel is to actually get out there and have fun and travel. As over-analyzers we boomers often miss the obvious. Do, be and think less.

An extremely dear friend is starting to get big checks for work she did ages ago. Now this is breaking news and may remind you that in all ways, the work, effort, persistence and aggravation we put into our careers and lives over decades really does pay off — if not by getting checks, than by understanding what I am trying to say here. Maybe that really is breaking news sisters in fabulousness!

Liking Millennials

Millennials used to scare me, confuse me and yes, annoy me.

When I was a corporate “expert” on talent issues and on-boarding of new employees, millennials were just joining the world I finally thought I had mastered – Corporate America in 2000-2005! I felt I had “the upper hand” in terms of experience, expertise and knowing what worked and what didn’t at the workplace.

What scared me, however, was that millennials were not scared; nor were they focused on pleasing or respecting us 50-something “older” folks currently in charge.

Millennials (though no official dates of when the generation starts/ends, it consists of those born starting in the early 80s through 2000 or so) have an ‘I am absolutely fine and deserving just the way I am’ self-confidence. This seemingly undeserved confidence coupled with technology smarts freaked out many of us hard-driving, forever insecure and overachiever boomers. Who were these people?  Why did they not seem to worry “who” someone was – Senior VP/Director? All the same to them. Why did they get on the phone all the time — especially to their parents?

Of course just as we boomers have had tons of bad press: spoiled; the “me generation”; hippie/dippy, nattering nabobs of negativism; and later, overly gung-ho on “fads” from EST to super high-powered careers lacking in balance. Millennials now have had more than their share of universal put downs: little work ethic, overly self-confident, detached, “selfie” obsessed nerds who don’t appreciate others’ hard work and people skills. My gut instinct: enough with the surface analysis that leads to less conversation and mutual listening but rather to more tweets and unreliable generalizations — the plague of modern life.

Millennials are individuals. Not every boomer went to Woodstock, worked compulsively, lived a lifestyle she couldn’t afford or was married way too many times to make sense. Not every millennial is too scared to ever start his own life, smokes pot all day in the family basement, is a pure narcissist or acts like a bored slacker.

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If you are more annoyed than thrilled with millennials you have to interact with, let one of their own, Matt Walsh, help you out with this manifesto for his own generation. It should say what you want to say to those millennials you are clashing with and may be related to.  In reality it applies to every new generation.

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Millennials have grown on me since those corporate days. The change, of course, was with me — I have become more secure, and less critical. I still don’t feel comfortable with all aspects of millennials — the constantly “on the phone” thing especially in restaurants is a pet peeve, but I am at peace that they do not need to be more like us boomers. They are the new 10 ton gorilla — things ARE going their way. Other than reinventing aging (which we are doing), boomers are just not the center of the world anymore. That has to be OK with us — it just is.

Always trying to educate myself and get with the new flow, I wanted to see how “millennial” I am. So I took the Pew Research quiz which was pretty amusing, quick and thought provoking. Take it if you care — or be like a millennial and think: who cares if I am like someone who is not me? Boomer or Millennial, we all could lose a little of our self-focus and self-righteousness — selfie anyone?

 

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