Had an interesting 'debate' this week on Twitter with someone. As you do if your Twitter bio says you are 'old, loud & opinionated'. The ubiquitous Mumsnet were promoting Gransnet on the basis that grandparents & the over 50s needed to be encouraged to get online and once online, to follow and be part of the community. The arguee's point was that they were singling out people by their demographic not by need - I am not sure whether she had grandchildren herself and I was not convinced that she had a valid argument.
As you all know, not only am I a grandma and an older person (65 this month), I also fervently believe that you are never too old to be online (you can read my thoughts here). So, my question to the lady was: what's wrong with the name?
Mumsnet does exactly what it says on the tin. Should it dump the name because it might offend people who aren't mums? Is it lacking validity because it is singling out the maternal demographic? As far as older people go, there already exists sites for OAPs/Seniors/Elders you name it.
And if you type in a hashtag you will find every combination of pensioner site. Gransnet apart from being short and snappy, is a very useful way of suggesting subliminally that grandparents and older people can be part of the internet also.
Given the way all children are so tech-savvy almost from birth, and that many grandparents now help out with childcare as parents have to return to work and nurseries are so expensive, it is even more important for us to master Facebook, Twitter and whatever sites our grandchildren use.
I have no problem with categorizing the older demographic in this, or any other way. Look, if I had a physical or mental illness, was of any sexual or racial orientation whatsoever, believed in a religion, no religion, followed a sport or political ideology, I bet I'd find a Twitter group specifically for me. And there I'd find like minded people with whom I could share with and chat. We are all getting far too outraged about everything.
Gransnet - bring it on!