Baby Boomer Grandparents: Good Bye Nana & Papa, Hello Avatars

So… who am I?

Or more definitively, what name should I  be called by my granddaughter… who’ll be arriving in a mere 83 days??

Once my daughter gives birth, I will have a new job, a new title, and require a new name – another addendum to my resume of life.

Of course this is the chance that we grandparents2B get to define ourselves, to position ourselves for that first impression, …or maybe it’s the last impression?

So maybe you didn’t like the name you were born with?  Or you think your parents chose a name that really doesn’t fit you, doesn’t convey the essence of who you are as a person?

And with the impending arrival of your new grandchild, you’ve begun to realize you now have an opportunity to create a new impression or moniker for yourself!

You now get to decide how you want to be perceived; how you want to be remembered.

And in this day of reality TV, social media, and mobile devices, you have to consider a name that will easily transcribe onto smartphones, iPads, and texting platforms.

So what does this mean for me?

I must envision a name that doesn’t use up too many of my 140 characters on Twitter, so that my updates are easily retweetable.

My facebook profile has to be hip, full of witty wall posts and multimedia extravaganzas so as not to embarrass the grandchildren!  I want them to artfully create fan pages of their grandmother and grandfather.

I want my home on facebook to be a comfortable place where they’ll want to bring their friends to hang out.

I need to make sure my blogger persona and my blog are perceived as a cross between The Daily Show, TMZ, Tech Crunch, and The Drudge Report so that the grandchildren will want to be part of my world and I can easily glide into their conversations and text messaging.

My avatar needs to show my creative side, and must position me to attract followers – in massive numbers hopefully so that my grandkids will be eager to ‘follow’ me.

My mentions on Digg, Stumble Upon, Technorati, and Delicious must be sure to not embarrass the next generation, nor cast me in an unflattering light in their social networks.

My feeds must be timely and not mundane.  I need to share enough of my life to entice, but not so much as to cause my family to cringe and implore me to ‘get off the grid.

I know I must make certain to never capitalize because SHOUTING isn’t dignified, and can incite certain groups.

My flip camera videos must be accompanied by rockin’ musical scores and Photoshopped images, before being cast onto the internet.

And my apps available on the iPhone and iPad must be moderately priced, but attract throngs of devoted, passionate fans willing to set up forums to discuss how awesome an app maker I am.

My mashups must deliver on imagination and ease of retainment, and my squidoo lenses must encompass breaking news and relevancy.

My iTunes library should recognize that music is a deeply personal form of communication, so my rap and hip hop lyrics must be clean; they must also show that I understand the intimate stories that drive these convos, and my classic rock preferences must steer away from a roster of musicians who are close to signing up for assisted living.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

My flickr galleries need to reveal my deep love of travel and show my grandchildren that the world I strive to capture in digital media is alluring and worthy of their time and participation.

My podcasts must be short, conscise, and full of humor, and they must be clearly directed at subjects of interest to Generation -2, which stands for 2 generations out from the Baby Boomers.

My geotagging needs to show that I only go to the ‘coolest’ of destinations, and my keywords and tags should be gender neutral, but have the potential for monetization.

So while in years and decades gone past, I might have only been concerned with whether the name my grandchildren called me made me appear ‘old,’ I now am concerned with whether my various identities and usernames will attract my  daughter’s children to ‘friend’ me, follow me, and tweet me.

All the Baby Boomers want to be hipster grandparents.  We want to identify ourselves in a splashy, techy way – full of showmanship and minimalistic design.

We want to position ourselves as the support network most advanced in technology, and revolutionary in outlook,  in our grandkids’ toybox of life.

– iPad

So I won’t be waiting to learn what the kids call me; rather I will be positioning myself so that I will slip easily into Generation-2’s daily dose of social media.

What may be the greatest grandparent names of all? – the iNana and iPop!

The next milestone in innovation should be grandparents- for we’ve lived a life that’s been unbelievable, and we look forward to a future that is the ultimate in high performance as loving and relevant grandparents!


Increase Your Popularity: How to Choose the Perfect Avatar – Context Over Dogma

Grandparents Magazine™ – Grandparent Names Around the World The New Grandparents Name Book (9780977706525): Lin Wellford, Skye Pifer: Books

Computer Training for the Over 50s

GameTab – The Game Reviews & News Compilation Site.

Gifts for Grandmothers (T-Shirts, Mugs, and More)

Grandparent News and Headlines –

Crunch Base on iPad:

*iPad photo courtesy of Crunch Base

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14 Responses

  1. […] don’t exactly agree with their decision I liked reading this article. You should read it too. Baby Boomer Grandparents Comments RSS […]

  2. I saw this and had to comment 🙂 My nephew was born three years ago and my dad didn’t like the sound of “grandpa” “papaw” etc. So his grandson now calls him —-Spike. Yep, that’s right. Talk about a cool grandpa 🙂

    All the best to you and your family!

  3. This is ROFL funny.. I am so glad your page was featured on the home page of WP today.. !! Your take on TMZ, Drudge and Flickr, I mean everything is so true.. Ha ha.. Good luck GP2B.. !!

  4. This is scary lol my grandfather with an avatar lol.. scary, but cool 🙂

  5. This is TOO CUTE!! Can I be you when I’m a grandma? And here I thought my 76- and 79-year old grandparents bringing home their new 27″ iMac was cool!

  6. If only my mother was as cool as you and would use her social media outlets properly, I would be so happy!

  7. I can only imagine my grandmother using a social site. That would be something new.

  8. Adorable! 🙂

  9. My mother using a social site and its COOL!

  10. […] or soon to be Grandparents, I could not resist this excellent article by bostonkayakguy: Baby Boomer Grandparents: Good Bye Nana & Papa, Hello Avatars and wish you all […]

  11. […] face the perplexing question of what to call themselves.  They took this as a welcome challenge, writing, You now get to decide how you want to be perceived; how you want to be […]

  12. Loved this post! My very first post was at the beginning of this month on the very same topic, and so was my latest post! Looking forward to reading more! By now you must be a grandparent – congrats!

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