Friendship is a funny thing. We can know some people all our lives and not make a connection others we meet and click immediately. Makes you wonder what makes those connections. I have some friends I never physically met. I know sounds weird but in this day and age with internet we can make friends from thousands of miles away. In countries we will never visit. Some of them I have met on Facebook I have become very close with and even have started real life friendships. When you meet someone on the internet you first make friends with their inner being. The physicality doesn’t matter. You have no preconceived ideas from what they look like. It is a marvelous tool for those with disabilities that have problems communicating in real life. Several of my friends have different disabilities that I never knew about until we were friends for a long time. Sure people can hide behind a profile but don’t people do that in real life? Put on their social manners? Dress to impress?
I would like to say it doesn’t matter but when you are in the initial stage of getting acquainted you do have preconceived ideas of what people are thinking or what they are able to do. It gets in the way. I am being really honest here. It would be nice if it wasn’t true but we are biologically programmed that way. I have made friends with people that had disabilities in real life too. One of my colleagues was a paraplegic. One of the funniest, smartest young men I ever met. I have several social media friends that have other disabilities I don’t consider them any different than the ones that aren’t challenged physically. A lot of times they are better as they have had to rely on personality and fortitude to get them through. Many of them develop a wicked sense of humor.
One of the problems is that we try to hard to pretend the disabilities don’t exist when we meet people. They do. It is part of what makes them who they are. Usually they are funny, smart, really brave people. Most that I have become friends with won’t let it get in the way of their lives. They want to be treated like everyone else. Why shouldn’t they? Social media makes that possible. For all of us. We can be who we are. I like the idea that people don’t treat me differently because I am older than some. In real life I am a bit shy as well. It isn’t easy for me to trust people and form friendships.
So all in all Social media like Facebook and others allow people to form bonds where they weren’t before. If properly used it can add a lot to people’s lives. So for all my friends I truly treasure you. No matter what the circumstances of us coming together.
Link to information if you have been “downsized” due to age.
My stream of conscious post brought a lot of comments and it made me think of how so many of us are being tossed out because of how many years we have lived. All of us sooner or later if we are lucky will face this kind of discrimination. I say lucky because it is a blessing to live to an age where you can reflect on your life and enjoy some of it without having to scrounge around trying to find enough to live on. I am lucky with that so far. Having a pension which really is getting more and more rare has really helped but with the cost of living how long? I was downsized at 63. I hoped to work until reaching my maximum age for retirement and also to collect my maximum social security. Instead shockingly I was let go from my job of 27 years due to “downsizing”. The odd part is I was the only one in my department let go. The department had gone from eleven employees to over twenty over recent years. When I started there were no computers everything was done manually. Still we got all the work done. I find that quite interesting. They had started hiring younger recent college graduates. Today they come pretty cheap. A lot cheaper than a long time employee. Secretarial and clerical work which I did also became obsolete although I learned every program and machine they put in front of me and also taught others. There one minute gone the next. I did get a very nice separation agreement so I signed off and there I was gone. After all those years I got my stuff Fed Exed to my house. It was a shock to see your whole working life shoved in a couple of boxes. I heard from some of my friends and still am Facebook friends with some of them but it isn’t the same. How could it be? I had thought my working life would be a nice little lunch and a thank you for your service. Instead it was a couple of FedEx boxes with shoes and stuffed animals that decorated my desk.
It is interesting how employers think that letting go of an experienced employee is a good idea. Wonder what the cost is in productivity when you are constantly training college graduates that replace the dedicated employee over and over when they get experience and go elsewhere? Part of the problem as I see it today in our economy is the tossing out of experience and intelligence that has taken years to obtain. People see others let go like this and it doesn’t exactly make them feel a connection to the company either. Perhaps that is why the quality of the goods we produce isn’t there any more.
Myself I am not bitter I am glad I didn’t give any more of my life to that place. With the cost of transportation actually it would be costing me more. With the pension and no travel expenses etc. that go with work I am better off. I just wonder if they are.
If this has happened to you and you feel that you have been discriminated against go get educated and see if there is something you can do. Age discrimination is hard to prove but it is against the law. People that aren’t as old as I am are suffering because they need to work but have trouble finding jobs.The changes in health insurance coverage has also made this very difficult because of the concerns of health problems in older people. What’s next discrimination against women of child bearing age because of the cost of pregnancy??
I am sure that already exists in the shadows. If you are a young person reading this it concerns you. You are the ones that will have to take care of your senior parents if their income stops prematurely what will that do to their retirement funds??
So that is my view. I would love to hear yours. Thanks for reading!!