Ask My Opinion … Please!

Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.

What is an influencer? : InfluencerMarketingHub.com

As I was reading yet another short piece about yet another 17 year-old person who had made a bazillion dollars as an “influencer” on social media, I was struck by a string of questions in this order:

  • Who IS this person?
  • Why would anyone take their advice?
  • Why are all of them seventeen?
  • Where are the influencers for other age groups?
  • Why in the world am I not getting in on this apparently limitless and lucrative market?

Yes, by damn, we senior citizens deserve our influencers as much as any group does. After all, who uses more products than we do? We need all the things that a teenager needs plus a whole raft of others just to sustain life.

You can see just a hint of this sort of marketing in every issue of the AARP magazine. All of the cover photos are of people who are or were celebrities and have managed to do little more than stay alive at least until the publication of the latest issue. There are no covers involving ordinary citizens at all. Inside these magazines will be accompanying articles about pressing issues like coping with the problems of being handsome and/or beautiful at age sixty, how to eke out a retirement on ten million dollars, and where can you find a good decorator for an eight-car garage?

But products and endorsements … missing entirely.

I could change all that. The only question, really, would be where to begin? First I would need to get on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, I suppose. Then I would need to acquire the equipment and skills necessary to put out a vlog. Next would be the room … teen influencers often broadcast from their bedrooms, giving the illusion of intimacy and privacy … I’m only doing this for you, you know. So Robin and I would have to take one of the rooms in our modest home and decorate it in a way that conveyed those feelings to the viewer.

I’m beginning to visualize the room … all of the posters on the wall would be of celebrities or literary figures who have perished. This would do two things at once – let the viewer know how cool our entertainment choices are and also to give them the encouragement of being able to think: “Hey, how bad can things be, at least I’m still here to watch this thing, while Humphrey Bogart isn’t.”

My mind is teeming with ideas tumbling over one another too quickly to be written down. I know exactly which sponsor I will target first. A product without which the entire cohort of senior citizens would not be here at all. Metamucil.

All I need now is 500,000 followers.

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[The following poem was featured in The Writer’s Almanac for June 12. I think I like it because it fits a recurring fantasy I have of just climbing onto a motorcycle with Robin behind me and taking off any time that we want to. Surprising everyone by going off the grid for a while while encountering fascinating and possibly dangerous characters along the way. Like a pair of well-seasoned Jack Kerouacs]

Bandito

by Eleanor Lerman

What gets you up in the morning?

For me it is the thought
that someday, I will be
as far away from here
as I can get

Watch me
rubbing out the lines behind me
I recommend it

I recommend 
fooling everyone into thinking
that you have settled down
and then heading for the hills

The dog will bare his teeth
if instructed and meet up
with you later. It’s good
you named him Bandito:
he’ll watch your back

This, by the way, this is not a fantasy
It is page 69 (ha ha!) of the manual
I read when we were planning 
the takeover

So it didn’t happen–so what?
This is better
Wait until I tell you
what’s on the next page

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This music video is really not apropos of anything else in today’s post. But I ran across it a couple of days ago and it absolutely nailed me. A beautiful song written by Warren Zevon and sung by two talented people I knew very little about until I read up on them just this morning. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires are husband and wife, with solo careers as well as times when they perform and record together. My oh my.

******

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This week we’ve had several 90 plus days, but it’s not all bad news. For sure, once the temperature climbs past 80 I begin to wilt like a lettuce leaf in a stewpot. That goes without saying. So I go out in the mornings, and then hide behind drawn drapes all afternoon, waiting for the evening cool-down. The one thing that makes a heat wave like this bearable is that the relative humidity has been in the single digits. Yes, dear hearts, yesterday the number was 6%. At that level, if a sweat gland manages to put forth a single tiny droplet the air sucks it up so fast you don’t even notice it. What you do notice as the hours pass is that this is how beef must feel in the process of becoming jerky.

******

On our riverside walks this week we saw two beautiful small birds. They were:

A Western Tanager

A Bullock’s Oriole.

Neither of these is particularly rare, but Robin and I don’t often see them in the places we frequent, so sighting them was a treat for us.

We have come to appreciate another bird more and more each year, and this time it’s one we see nearly every day … the Raven. Not dainty at all, with plumage as black as black can be, a massive beak, and the ability to soar like raptors.

Ravens are not gifted in the song department, but do have a decent croak to offer. Experts tell us that they are very intelligent creatures. That may well be, and sometimes I suspect that most creatures are much smarter than we give them credit for, it’s only the incautious ones that give their secret away to humans.

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