In Today’s Culture, are you “WOKE”, or are you “FAULTY” ?

My two millennial daughters enjoy calling me, a white retired Boomer, an old  white dinosaur, every time I express an opinion that is not “woke”. Increasingly I find that I do not have a cogent come-back, and the more I read about woke culture, the more I agree with their characterization of me.  My ideals, while positive in many respects, need to be updated to match where society is evolving to, or I will find myself socially ignored, or worst, not being invited to Sunday family dinners.

Source: Staci’s blog

The core of the argument is that we are not born racist, unequal, sexually defined, insensitive, or religious. Nature, while realizing that a small percentage of births do have medical issues that can impact a child’s development, normally births us as a clean slate. It is the Nurture component that leads to the perceived evils of our society, like racial hatred, LTBGQ concerns, class distinctions, and the like.  This “faulty” nurturing leads us to many of the societal issues that plague us today. Woke culture, as I define it, is a younger generational attempt to fix, or re-program these faults out of us, to make our society a better place. 

It is an inspirational goal, and has not been easy to implement. Politically, many parents react negatively to school kids being taught things like racial differences do not exist, that being gay is a choice, that we are all the same. It goes against their own ideal and teachings, or against their family, or against their religious beliefs.  Also, funding programs that reward a minority that has been perceived to be victimized is not popular with a large swatch of the population. Additionally, invoking negative phrases like, cancel culture, critical race theory, or compliance society is not helping. 

Frankly, while I agree with the goals of the woke culture movement, I disagree with some of its tactics. Changing how our young are taught so as to try and stop racial stereotyping is an admiral goal, but if all you do is piss off the people you are trying to change, then you will fail in your attempt. I say keep the goal but, like any social media program, determine why it’s failing, and try another tactic. Figuring out what approach might work is beyond the scope of this blog, but realizing that this current plan is not working must be examined.

 So, the next time you are see or hear someone lament a progressive opinion that challenges the status quo,  take a moment and analyze your reaction ? In the comments below, let me know if you have the same types of reactions as I did, or do you think that woke culture is a bad thing. After all, maybe I just woke up, but you are still faulty ?

Twitter: Do you think that “woke” culture has any merit, and do you pay attention to cancel culture ? #wokeculture #criticalracetheory  #cancelculture. Check out my new blog:

Facebook:  Who are the people driving “woke” culture and what are they hoping to achieve ?  Find out who I think they are why I believe they are failing today.

Why do I only see Commercials for ‘Depends’ and ‘Viagra’ ?

Ah, the good old days. Pour your favorite beverage, sit down in front of the television, and during the commercials, watch the big brands market their products. COKE, FORD, McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, and DOVE all tried to sell us their wares with mass marketing campaigns primarily run from TV.

Today, the top brands still use TV, but now spend a big percentage on social media, as can be seen in the chart below:

Source:  Social Media Today

Looking at the numbers, today the average person watches traditional tv content 18% of the time, while user created video content is viewed 16% of the time, up from nothing in just a few short years.

Social media is changing many aspect of our lives. From how we market products, both old and new, to how we communicate ideas, to changes to our educational delivery systems, conversations are replacing the push of mass marketing plans, hoping for enough hits to justify the high cost. With the cost of social media being much lower than most traditional tools, many new products can get traction, as their cost per customer acquisition is affordable for smaller companies. Glasses, mattresses, specialty shirts, special underwear – you know the ones –  and all the new drugs can now be sold individually, and do not have to be sold via the big box stores. This direct customer connection starts their conversations, and energizes their feedback loops, leading to better customer satisfaction, and more sales.

These feedback loops allow for companies to focus their marketing budgets into areas that show high chances of closing a sale. So, a television show with vampires attracts a certain demographic that might be interested in new glasses, but not in an SUV.  You can probably guess who watches all the house renovation shows.

To this end, when I watch tv, I enjoy seeing the types of commercials that are on offer, to see if they come close to interesting me in a response, or am I just seeing a saturation model whereby my eyeballs are shown the same visuals, more and more now with an mascot, to trigger a ” must have” reaction. The saturation model of showing us a full commercial with a story, them quickly migrating to a shorter version(s) so the number of times I am exposed increases, must be effective, or we would not see this technique. At least it gives me time to go to the kitchen and back, all while wondering why a turtle would be used in a pistachio commercial …

 My favorite shows get bombarded with marketing that my generation seems to respond to favorable, as the need exists. This commentary on Boomers in dire need of adult diapers, an erectile dysfunction fix, or diabetes medication is actually depressing.  Boomers know that these are all interrelated ( GEN X spoiler alert ) as a sign of our aging, but who wants to be reminded ? These ads can be scary,  but they must drive sales, or they would not be used.   

So, the next time you are watching television, or even your favorite social media, check out the ads on offer, and see if they interest you, or did the marketers guess wrong with their selection ? In the comments below, let me know if you have the same types of reactions as I did, or if you are watching the wrong shows, based on the advertising content. After all, maybe I really like vampires but just don’t know it yet.

Twitter: Are you watching the content advertisers think you are watching ? #socialmediachoices  #televisionmarketing. Check out my new blog:

Facebook:  Advertisers are trying to drive product conversations by narrowing their content to appropriate audiences. Is this working for you ? Find out why I believe they are succeeding today.

Could Driving laws fit the Social Media Regulation needs ?

Social media continues to flow into every facet of our lives because everyone sees that the opportunities and positives greatly outweigh the perceived constraints and  negatives. Being able to communicate globally has great value, whether you are an individual or a company reworking your marketing plans. Productivity and cost savings will help push this new media even further into society. Having said that, there are some effects that are not positive, and these privacy concerns, as an example, need to be rationalized and regulated before society loses total control as these technologies keep growing exponentially.  


We need to ask the question ” does social media needed to be regulated to protest ourselves or society ? Where should the lines be drawn that show us when it’s appropriate to use social media, and when is it harmful ? What should the penalties be, and how do we assign severity. Should some activities be outright illegal, leaving some to be frowned upon, leaving the rest as acceptable.

A first response might be to equate social media with other, culturally appropriate activities. In this way, we could borrow the social norms from say, driving a car, and “cut and paste” these accepted rules onto social media.  Everyone might need to have a licence to text, after registering and passing a test.

An alternative might be to use our current gun laws as the governance model. A background check might be considered, but that’s about it. Using the gun would have huge consequences, but showing it to people ( concealment laws ? ) or just having one available ( in your car or home ) for self defense, would be legal.

As a retired Boomer, my view of social media remains one of mainly an interested bystander. I do not have to use certain media channels that a job might force me to learn, I can pick the advertising medium that I like, and I choose not to have a media assistant, like Amazon’s Alexa. I use my iPhone, but constantly leave it at home.  I do use social media to scan the news of the world, play bridge online, play the markets, and connect with friends. I am not building a business, care about search engine optimization, am interested in luring someone into a compromised video, want to bully anyone, or spread “fake news”.  So, while I do not use many of the available tools, I am aware of the negative reaches of social media, and still believe that we can and should control  it.

Using gun laws as a regulation template, while perhaps useful, seem to me to be too narrow in scope to handle all the social media uses, never mind the political emotion attached to firearms. To contemplate a safe, proven schema instead, using driving laws fits the bill. Cyber bullying could equate to drunk driving, and the same laws could letch over to that type of media activity. Addicted to gaming or online texting ? Speed limit fines could work here, limiting your screen time. Posting inappropriate videos  sounds like reckless driving with, resulting in the loss of your accounts, or a ban on usage.

Yes, the adoption of regulations are needed, but let’s not reinvent the wheel if we already have a framework we could graft with little editing. Do you agree ? Might you suggest a different schema, or even have some ideas of how to meld our accepted driving laws onto the social media landscape ? Please put your thoughts in the comments section below, and let’s see if we can start a drive to regulate social media.

Twitter: Could Driving laws fit the Social Media Regulation needs ? #socialmediaregulation. Check out my new blog:

Facebook: Social media regulation is needed, but there are many ways to proceed. Find out why I believe our driving laws can be used today.

COM0011 – Blog#1:  Why are Baby Boomers Slow to Embrace Online Shopping ?

As online use cases continue to flourish, and as people get used to the conveniences of social media, there are some laggards. As noted in a MOZ Blog – “The State of Consumer Trends “,  many cohorts are embracing the ability and opportunity to use social media to search online, connect with friends, view all kinds of content, play games, and do commerce.  This convenience seems to have really taken hold in the Gen Z and Millenials, with the Gen X cohort catching up. Looking at the chart below, it is fascinating to see the slow uptake of the Boomer generation to embrace online shopping.

As a Boomer, with a Boomer wife that does all the shopping in our household, including most of my needs, it would seem that using social media would be very convenient for Michele. Especially thru a time of ongoing viruses, she could procure many of our requirements by shopping online. She has an iPhone, and does use it for face timing her grandkids, and playing “Words with Friends ” with multiple friends ( yes, she is a gamer ). She uses it mostly to text with her friends, so much so that I was able to get rid of the home phone.

So, why would she use digital media for so many things, but not shopping ? Why would she not follow her Millennial kids into the online shopping arena ? And what reasons can we glean as to why ?

The first reason is social in nature. Michele prefers to shop with friends, enjoying the experience of sharing the outing, bantering back and forth, asking their opinion on a particular item ( does my bum look big in this dress ? ),  complaining about the price of items, and bonding over a coffee at the end of the shopping trip. This human interaction is missing from an iPhone screen.

Next up is the missing visual confirmation. Many things she could buy online do not look the same when they arrive at out front door. For example, that pizza is smaller and has less items on it that was shown on the online menu. Bananas can be bruised. A lifetime of being misled by advertising has left scars, and Michele may never get over the need to see it before buying it. Carvana will never show up at my front door.

There is also the contentious reason of size. Clothes especially fit this idea, as many ads, which are slowly being updated for plus sizes, do not allow for a proper fit unless you are of a particular size or shape. Buying clothes from worldwide sources and having a medium size mean different dimensions to different societies can prove un-enjoyable.

Of course, it can be argued that many items that do not meet your expectations can be returned, for a full refund. This is sometimes true, but usually involve a restocking charge, or call for postage to be paid.  Buying from Costco, as an example, allows for a full return, with no questions asked, usually for many months after purchase, negates these costs, and explains why Costco is Michele’s favorite place to shop, in person, sometimes with a friend. Who can argue with that logic ?

So, while in store shopping is decreasing as online purchasing grows, retailers will need to improve their quality reputation and ability to view their goods as if the customer is wearing it, before Boomers will venture into the online shopping pond. Perhaps Virtual Reality ( VR ) tools will do that, and while we see some use cases for trying on glasses styles virtually before buying,  that technology still needs work.

Remember, many Boomers, like Michele, have embraced social media, and use digital devices daily. Unfortunately there remain areas of sub optimization that may never be overcome for some people.  Do you agree ? I would love to see your comments on other items that Michele would not buy online, or reasons you still shop in person. Perhaps retailers will read our comments and improve the buying experience for all of us, including even Michele !