HAPPY 2008, WANOBIANS!

Have a truly wonderful New Year, Wanobians! I hope 2008 brings you peace, wellbeing and joy in abundance.

I guess just about everyone who has celebrated passing fifty knows nothing in life is certain, but one trend I’ve seen is crystal clear. More and more of us over fifty are colonising cyberspace, once the near-exclusive domain of our kids and their friends. Today we represent one of the largest and potentially most powerful forces on the worldwide web.

In Europe, Asia and the United States, as well as in many industrialising countries elsewhere, the number of mature citizens nowadays runs into the hundreds of millions. And the audience is swelling as more members of the so-called Baby Boomer generation also start to turn fifty.

We are very different from past generations of older folks. We are active, online, youthful and open to new ideas, media and experiences. I do not think I am exaggerating by saying many of us – possibly the great majority – want to continue to live life out loud and embrace living with eagerness and eyes wide open in anticipation.

It is not just about open wallets and having the resources to travel or buy more. People over fifty also plan for the future, making financial investments for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. Many of us also care deeply about vital issues such as global warming, poverty, education and armed conflicts.

The great thing about our generation is that we have constantly been rejecting earlier models and stereotypes to explore new ways of living and working and broadening horizons. My grandkids live in Stockholm, Sweden, and I have just spent a wonderful holiday with them. My parents live in Alicante, Spain, where I celebrated New Year with them (albeit somewhat soberly due to a bad cold).

Thanks to the wonders of low-price airlines, the Internet and mobile telephones, I never, ever, feel far apart from any of my nearest family and closest friends. Modern communications helps us all stay closer than ever before.

And that is also one reason why I founded Wanobe.com in September 2007 as an online social community where mature users can check on what their friends are doing, get the latest news, post their favourite photos, documents and videos, and gain stimulation by playing games or reading interesting articles.

We have some exciting changes ahead here at Wanobe.com, which I believe will make us even more useful to everyone visiting us. A huge thanks to all of you who have visited and explored our pages and especially those who have become members of the ‘Wanobian’ community. Once again, all the very best for the year ahead …

Live well, live long, enjoy!

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Grandkids

Just had a marvelous Christmas in Sweden visiting my three kids and five grandkids. It’s totally amazing seeing the generations unfold before your eyes. I am now soooo happy I married young, even if there have been a few divorces along the road, which was not easy for the kids, now the dust (or, this being Sweden, snowflakes) has settled all seems to be well with the world. I just wish that was true everywhere, but then what would we be if all we had was Eden? Watched an interesting documentary last Xmas Day night on Discovery Channel on the subject of Eden and its location. It’s made me want to read Genesis, not so much for the religious bits but for the historical data. Mmmm, soon off to catch a flight. How boring flying has become thanks to the terrorists. Crowded airports, long queues, not a lot of smiles compared to what you used to see some 15 years and more back when flying was still a bit of an ‘adventure’, and ground staff and airline crew alike had time to be pleasant and welcoming.

Seasonal greetings

I just read something that really made me sit up.  Mary Ellen Chase, the American 19th century writer, wrote: “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.” Wow!I do not know about you, but in our hustle-bustle commercialized world it’s easy to forget that Christmas really marks the passing of the longest night of the year. And is the time when hope is reborn of brighter days laying ahead.

This brief Christmas period of candlelight and cheer is intrinsically about friendship, thoughtfulness and kindness, and hopes for peace, understanding and goodwill to everyone, of every race and religion.

I am not a practicing Christian, feeling more akin with Buddhist thinking. Yet I try not to forget that nightingales sang before Jesus or Buddha spoke, and hopefully, global warming notwithstanding, will continue long after their words have faded into oblivion.

I hope you have a beautiful Christmas. And that you find the messages it carries challenges you to think a little deeper about the issues affecting you and the world in the future.

On behalf of everyone at Wanobe, I’d like to wish you all the very best wishes for 2008. I hope it will be a new year of health, peace, inspiring thoughts and stimulating activities, at work, rest and play.

Let’s all carry with us into 2008 the words of French novelist Emile Zola: “If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”

Live long, live well, travel safe.

Loving life

 

Anyone who ever thought that today’s generation of fifty-something folks would become fuddy-duddy copies of earlier generation can go suck an egg! All the latest evidence indicates most of us are living and loving life to the max – and intend to go on doing so for as long as we are able.

 

The generation that enjoyed the first summer of love some 40 odd years ago, put men on the moon and bogeyed across the disco floor, are still clearly setting the pace as trend-setters not technophobes.

 

New research shows that the over-50s are now even leading online shopping trends, for example. A survey by ad agency Millennium of 500 people online over the age of 50 found the Internet has become their favourite method for shopping.

 

Some 28-percent of those polled said they preferred to do their shopping online, compared to 23 preferred who prefer the high street. Over half (58%) of respondents claimed that Internet shopping took the hassle out of shopping. Meanwhile, books were selected as the favourite online purchase by 50% of those polled.

 

If you need even more evidence that we ‘baby boomers’ are still pretty cool dudes, then take a look at a study by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. It says policy makers must take a fresh look at the behaviour of the baby boomer generation as they start joining the ranks of the retired.

 

The study notes how those ‘retiring today helped pioneer the creation of post-war consumer culture. And the habits they got into in the 50s, 60s and 70s with more money to spend on more things than previous generations is likely to continue’.

 

Let’s keep rocking, wanobians!

 

Live long, live well

What makes us powerful?

 

 Wealth? Health? Intelligence? Planning for a retirement in the sun or avoiding a potentially disastrous retirement spent in penury? I don’t know about you, but I feel confused about all the contradictory messages being winged my way from government or marketers.

 

I belong to the Baby Boomer generation, born in 1947 (there, now you know how old I am). I hear some people say what a lucky chappy I am. I’m richer, healthier and wiser than any preceding generation. Other folks, especially government authorities and academics, warn of the onerous times ahead, long years of ageing, diminishing health and rising poverty (scary stuff). So what’s the truth?

 

One thing I discovered early on sitting in a ‘Beatnik’ coffee bar in Manchester in the early ‘60s debating The Bomb, Bob Dylan and Camus is that life never delivers certainty. And that means to get the most out of our journey, whatever our age, demands constantly making the effort to make our dreams come true.

 

I have never been prepared to wait all day for something to start happening. And that is why I helped start Wanobe. Wanobe exists to help you look for friends and family, play different kinds of games, shop, date and chat.

 

Some claim that today’s Internet has been shaped by the needs and desires of the younger generation, which may have been true before. But now – with Wanobe -there’s a place you, I and everyone else over the age of fifty can call our own, and shape according to our wants and needs. Now that is what I call power.

 

Let me know how you feel in the comment zone below, the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

Live long, live well, my fellow Wanobians,

 

Dave 

Who are the Wanobians

Not some secret community, that’s for sure. Wanobians are people over the age of fifty who have signed up at http://www.wanobe.com, the online lifestyle site for people who have celebrated passing fifty. What’s so special about them? Well, Wanobians for the most part are devoted to the notion of living life out loud as long they possibly can. How? By enjoying all the things life offers anyone and everyone who wants to make the most of being alive, regardless of wealth, health or location. Wanobians are generally really nice people with really nice ambitions. And that summarises what wanobe.com is all about. Helping nice people enjoy life more by providing useful information, games and really useful functions. Live long, folks!

Hello world!

Wanobe.com and the Wanobians are here! Take a look around you, we are everywhere! Not an alien species though, just a whole bunch of folks who have celebrated passing fifty and want to live life out loud. Come join us at http://www.wanobe.com – it’s free and easy to use.