Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seniors as Artists, Craftspeople and Hobbyists--Get Started Online

Seniors with interests to pursue do much better in general over seniors who have lots of time on their hands. We saw this firsthand with Jim's parents. His Mom had tons of interests, sewing, cooking, aqua size class, lunch groups, and so forth. There weren't enough hours in the day for her. By contrast, his Dad had no activities.  For awhile he golfed but each year that goes by makes it harder to rely on sports as your chief activity.

Your body simply cannot take anything but milder sports as you advance in age. Around our condo community the seniors who overdid it in sports are the ones currently with huge medical problems. If you planned on doing solely sports in your senior years, you need to rethink that plan.

So what has this got to do with my saying yesterday that I would continue talking about online commercial transactions?  Everything. Because nowadays when I need to explore my hobby, craft and art options, I search online before even thinking about doing something in person.

A few months ago I hit a dry spell in my fiber art.  I needed to learn something new to shake myself out of it.  In one of my craft magazines, which I read in my iPad's newsstand, there was a website with online fiber classes.  So I looked up this website and discovered Craftsy and its fiber courses. The picture to the upper left shows all the interests currently covered at Craftsy.

The class to the left was the one I picked at Craftsy.  It was $19.  I could take it on my laptop or install the app and take it on my iPad or iPhone, or use all three off and on. These fiber workshops in person are expensive to attend.  It would be more likely that I'd drop close to a hundred bucks to take the same course in person. I installed the app on my iPad and took about half of it and immediately came up with a fresh idea.  I closed my iPad and minutes later was fully engrossed in a new project. I can go back and finish the course any time I want which I will do when I hit the next creative lull.

I had earlier taken some of my computer classes at Lynda online. Recently I discovered that the site was offering some other kinds of courses such as art photography and marketing online (as in promoting this blog).  So I went on over there to take a look and this is what I found.

Jerry and Maggie are two major art photographers who teach at art colonies and universities. They are major talents in the arts.  I can take this course at Lynda but it handles the payment differently.  I have to become a member of the website and pay $25 a month.  I can join for only one month and watch as many videos as I want on the site for that month.  But I cannot just buy this course.  My membership will, of course, automatically renew if I don't make sure I cancel it.  I hate this kind of arrangement, as do most consumers.  Nevertheless, this is awfully tempting.

I have just touched on the tip of the iceberg here because the online world is a dream for anyone with any hobby interest. One of the first ways I discovered the richness of the online world was that I was a big reader and there are lots of communities online for every reading interest. This led me into doing reviews online which led me to my status of becoming an Amazon reviewer which led to my becoming a Vine member and receiving free products for review.

The online world if properly used can widen up the senior's world enormously. A friend of mine was complaining about running into bad people online and asked if I had the same problem.  I said no and I discovered the difference was that I spent most of my time online with people similar to myself, who had a lot of hobby interests.

He by contrast was spending a lot of time on these sites where you put in your comments on issues of the day and people get into huge "flame wars" as a result--hurling inflammatory accusations at one another, with political entries causing the most of this.  I sometimes hear from such a flamer on one of my Amazon reviews. This person wants to start a fight with anyone over current American politics. Amazon has a button for me to prohibit future contact from that person so I push it.  Hobbyists, artists, craftspeople, etc., have no interest in starting these flame wars. They want to learn and grow.

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