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Well said, Michelle. I agree with all of your thoughts whole-heartedly. I want to say, though, that “old” when I joined in 2006 is not really “old” any longer in that many more seniors are up to date with the use of social media.
Founder and Past President,
HLAA, Jacksonville Chapter
Although we as the "older set" may not be as big on the use of social media, those younger who are coming up usually are, as we all know. The issue to me, becomes more one of how much technology has played a part in improving our communication issues. Like Deaf people those of us with significant hearing loss enjoy personal interaction with each other. We have a mutual understanding of hearing loss and therefore enjoy the natural flow of our communication, without the additional stressors communicating with hearing people can inflict.
We probably agree that the good part of social media is the ease of using written/visual communication (text, captions, streaming) for "us", but of course the other side of the coin is the lack of intimacy that leaves a void that may not be appreciated by those who use social media almost exclusively. We all have read about that and it holds true for hearing people as well.
In my opinion, being that HL occurs at any age but predominates in older age groups, our Organizational Marketing to an older group of people makes sense. As younger people with hearing loss become the "older group" and as technolgy/medical advancements occur, HLAA as an entity will either continue to fill a void or will fade as no longer being necessary. Of course that's a statement of the obvious but for now, like it or not, our focus remains on our largest demographic, "older people" who currently aren't the biggest group of social media users.
The situation (continuation of HLAA) will take care of itself as it become more apparent if progress lessons the need for our Organization. We can move with the times but all our eggs don't need to be in the social media basket. It's important to offer what we can to the upcoming group of potential members but to me we need not be so consumed with drawing in younger people that we play short shrift to the needs of the majority of members/potential older members currently in our society. I see it as Room to live now and room to grow...Michelle