Cyber Shopping, Cyber Talking, Cyber Learning, and Cyber Burnout!


After frantic Black Friday in the stores, buying boots that looked great in ad and returning them the next day when sanity also returned, I turned to the Internet.  I found what I was looking for, but I had trouble with the purchase and had to go to the chat room for assistance.  They helped me – and then I didn’t know for certain if the ‘buy’ had gone through.  After sending them a customer support ticket, I finally decided to go ahead and re-enter the credit card and – viola!! I received the e-mail confirmation.  While I didn’t have to fight crowds to get the products, I did experience frustration none-the-less.

The last internet purchase I made was a refurbished lap-top.  It has sound problems with the microphone providing a banshee like wail whenever I lay my hand on the front of the keyboard or try to talk to someone.  I called the provider and they put me through to tech support.  He told me to turn off the microphone, which I did.  The wailing stopped.

To add insult to injury, this morning when I opened my computer, I had a cyber class on blogging that I had forgotten about.  I went to the JoinMe sight and Skype and turned on the microphone and the screaming began again.  I tried to fix it – but to no avail.  I am now on the second computer but, it too, has a mind of its own.  The Office application has a glitch.  As I am typing, the letters decide they have a better place to be than in the word that I am typing.  They jump to the new sight and when I look up; I realize that I have made unfamiliar words inserted into an entirely different thought.

So, now I am in my blogging class and the topic is Cyber Monday.  Help me, Lord!  I remember a kinder, gentler time when I had a Rolodex (not to be confused with Rolex)  and a file cabinet, a phone and a car.  My own mind was the computer and things worked amazingly well.  I didn’t have access to all the things I do today, but truly, it was less stressful.

So, here I am, after a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, struggling to be thankful for cyber-anything.   Thinking back longingly to a time when Christmas Shopping was fun and didn’t start until December.

Cyber-burnout is really just a state of mind.  I have to know that if I didn’t have the internet I wouldn’t have blogging class with friends in Rockford, Illinois, or a Skype friend in South Africa.  I wouldn’t be able to see my grandchild in Madison, Wisconsin, or write to an audience of people I don’t even know and will, most likely, never meet!

After reconsidering, I am thankful for the Internet and the amazing way it allows me to communicate with the world.

Thanks, Al Gore!!!  (lol)

Living on Fast Forward in Retirement


The internet has really captured me.  I started working with it because I like to write and now the ministry, that we participate in, has asked me to help with their  blogs and websites.  At sixty-nine years young, I thought that the task was overwhelming and then I got into it and found out that I was right.  The good news is that I have found people to help me develop the web pages which are beginning to come together and look good.  But, because of this activity my personal blogging has taken a back-seat and I really miss it.  So – here goes!

Being retired isn’t just sitting in front of the television, traveling, and feeding, the birds.  My life is full and busy.  I still do the normal things of taking care of the house and yard.  We visit my 95 year-old Mom and our kids.  The ministry has monthly tent meetings and that has kept us engaged.  My Usana business has suffered a bit.  Visit me at http://www.encorenow.usana.com and help me out!

Pinterest is a pin-board that is a fun leisure time activity.  Most interesting to me is that I can do it and not feel like ‘if only’ I had this or that.  It is just a place to see pretty things, learn things, get tips, learn about products, and find humor.  Yes, it can be a time-waster but I am learning just to do it for short bursts of time!

In addition to the normal part of my life, who would have thought that the very thing that I struggled with at work (the computer)  would become a  passion?  So now the writing bug has me wrapped up in blogging and posting to web-pages.  I am learning so much.  I guess the book that I pondered will have to wait.

Here is one of the web sites that I have in process – http://www.fireinthestreets.com.  The picture is what I am using as a header.  Cool huh?

So what is keeping you engaged and happy in your retirement?

From Ink Wells to Keyboards – How the Internet Changed my Life in my 60’s!


  • As a kid, I learned penmanship using an ink well and an old ink pen.  We practiced doing circles and lines so that our writing was legible and yes, even pretty.   I enjoyed writing and from an early age wrote poetry and short stories.When I became an adult, I worked in offices that did everything by hand.  We kept record and files and remembered details in our minds.It was in the late 1980’s when I got involved with the computer.  My then boss decided to computerize our company.  I was part of the beta and learned from dos on up.  The good thing about those days is that I had computer support.  Then I retired about twenty years later.When I moved to the Ozarks, I took a job recruiting from home for a company in my home town.  It had many challenges, not the least of which was the lack of computer support.  I no longer had an Admin Assistant to type my interviews and when the computer acted up, I had to figure it out.  As a result, I got up close and personal with the electronic gadget.  Three years later, I really retired and laid the old computer aside and bought a lap-top.

    Since then, I can compute from anywhere and I discovered the wonders of social media.  When I first tried to work with a web-page, I had a friend, Steve, who helped me.  In fact, he led me into this amazing new world by introducing me to the Chief Blogger, Tom McDunn.  Since then I have taken blogging classes and now I manage five blogs, three of which are my own. I have written a blog and a web page for someone else.

    I wake up in the morning with ideas running through my head for a new blog post and can’t wait to get it ‘in the can.’  (Do they say that for blogging?  Maybe I coined a new phrase from the film industry!)

    Are you over fifty and think that this social media thing is too hard for you?   I challenge you to find a class.  Join me in a great adventure!

    Let me know what you think about social media, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.  Do you blog?

     

Blogging Class Bogged Down by Cyberspace Wierdness 3/07/2012


Well it happened.  I am on Skype and taking a really good blogging class and the Internet in their location is very uncooperative.  It is interesting being a headshot and not being able to see everyone in the class.  Fortunately screen sharing makes things more pleasant.  Today, however, was extremely frustrating.  We didn’t get through everything because of the problems we encountered. 

Let me put it this way, they may have gotten it all, but I missed out on some pieces.

I have learned so much from the class that I really can’t complain.  I am becoming much more confident using social media.  And, people I don’t even know are choosing to follow me!  How great is that?

So, I think I will sing a song instead of being frustrated.  What shall I sing?  “Don’t worry, be happy!”

Liking Linking!!


Social media is such a paradigm shift for those of us who are over 60.  It is a bewilderment and a puzzle.  Some of us just shut our minds to the possibilities.  But we are living longer and we are living stronger so it is important that we stay current.  Younger people fall into the various aspects of the computer world easily, but it can cause our minds to shut down and our hands to be thrown up in despair.

I challenge you to get involved.  If you are computer challenged, take a class.  If you are getting ‘it’ to some degree, take a blogging class, write a blog and get on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Your grandkids will love it and you will dazzle your more mature friends.

LinkedIn is a site that opens up doors.  Today, advertising is more effective using social media than running a newspaper ad.  Do you have a small business?  Are you working for someone and want to get more customers?  Do you have a ministry that you make known?  Would you like to get a new job? LinkedIn and blogging are two of many social media vehicles that open doors for you.

I would encourage you to take the plunge.  Then continue to study and become more proficient.  You can’t make a mistake.  The computer is very forgiving and if you really mess it up, ask your grandchild to get you back on line.

At times, I still feel lost in blogging class, but I have learned that my mouth is a good way to find out what I am missing – so I ask questions.  I am a 69 year old Grandmother and I am running three blogs and a webpage.  I had worked on a computer in my job before retirement, but I never did anything like this.  I can assure you that I am NOT a techie!  You can do it if I can!

If you would like to know more about me, check me out on LinkedIn.  Kathy Brady Caruso.    Just click on my name and it will take you to the site.  See you there!

Then leave me a message with your thoughts!  Will you give LinkedIn and blogging a try?

Tips from Blogging Pros


I am living proof that you don’t have to be young to get involved in social media and blogging.  A 69, I have found this to be a wonderful outlet.  I have always wanted to be a writer and now I get to do it and publish it right away.  I think it is great fun!

Taking a blogging class has really helped me.  In fact, if I hadn’t taken the class, I wouldn’t be blogging!!  It is important to be mentored to learn the basics and then get busy and try – not being afraid to fail.  Chief showed us how to connect to the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  My mentor, the Chief Blogger says these are points are key:

  • Unique content
  • Include images and other visuals
  • Add tags
  • Review and correct several times
  • And the ever popular, “Call to action!”

I have done some research and looked at what some successful bloggers have done.  They have some wonderful and outrageous ideas.  One that really grabbed my attention – and I want to add something similar to my blogs.  It is a bar that has these words that give the reader an ability to click and register their vote.  The bar says “How dare they”  “Hilarious” “I like this” “Umm” and one other that I my G rated site won’t list!  I love the idea that they get to vote.  I would, of course, use different wording, but what a great idea!!

The Pro Blogger site shared a great amount of wonderful information.  He should know as he has over 32,000 followers.  He suggests that we should provide interesting and insightful information beyond the obvious and then ask, “Would I bookmark this article?”  “Did I give enough time and attention to the details.”

Pro flies in the face of the traditional idea that you should blog everyday.  He says that you should find your rhythm so that you continue to put out quality stuff.

Pro Blogger ended with, “If you want to get a lot of attention for your blog, then you need to start ignoring the traditional ways of blogging and embrace some more outrageous, out-of-the-box ideas.”

What ideas do you have for me to improve Encore Now?

Discover my blog!


A true discovery moment was when my friend, Steve helped me put up a website and then introduced me to the Chiefblogger!  This was an adventure I had not counted on.  Blogging has opened up an avenue of expression and fun!  It is a way to talk about healthy living and other issues without anyone talking back or disagreeing with me at the time.  Of course, they are able to comment on my post and that helps me further focus.

I have the full privilege of discovering things that I think and ideas that I had not yet formulated!  It has been pure delight!  Writing has been a desire of my life and as I sharpen my skills, my awareness of the people and activity around me intensifies.

There are so many voices today that processing them into a solid concepts takes discovery.  Often, I am surprised by the direction a post takes.

For me, Blogging is discovering the hidden person of the heart.