I’m in Los Angeles, attending the AARP convention and getting psyched up to mentor a seminar on social networking on Saturday. As I think about social media and what it means to older people, I am overwhelmed by how fast communication has changed over the last few years, and how good that is (mostly).

On one hand, it’s so important for our kids and grandchildren to have something tangible, a real card or even better, a real letter with our own handwriting, and not just texts or emails or a Facebook comment. And yet there is wonderful opportunity for connection using social media.

My advice to people participating in my room’s discussion includes several key points:
– Be honest and yourself
– Be sensible and cautious with your personal information
– Remember that YOU are the public that companies want so desperately to engage with and use your power for good
– Use social media as an extension of your regular personal contact with people, not in place of personal contact.