Blog


Age IRL

By Meg LaPorte, MA  ♦♦  April 10, 2017

I am not a Millenial but I am familiar with some of the vernacular within that orbit, thanks to my 18-year old daughter. She of course is a digital native, and text is her second language. In fact, texting is her primary mode of communication. However, frequent IRL (text speak for “in real life”) visits and occasional phone calls with her paternal grandparents are not unusual, since she has had the privilege of growing up in close proximity to them.

In my opinion, their consistent presence, their stories, the narratives of their lives — foibles, joys, treasured memories and all — have been a gift that many American children do not have these days. Among the benefits of this intergenerational advantage include the enduring wisdom and the power of gentle and not-so-gentle reminders and admonitions that come from the stories conveyed by older friends and family members.

And as my daughter might say about living in the bubble of youth: “it does not properly expose us to age IRL.”

Age In America aspires to bridge the generational gap that exists among and between generations with “IRL” stories and images that simply yet powerfully challenge the damaging stereotypes and ageist attitudes that currently occupy the youth-focused mindset of mass media today.

However, this cannot be accomplished without multigenerational interest and participation. And since social media is a multigenerational activity, we decided to leverage Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our effort to challenge stereotypes and change perceptions about being older.

We have launched the journey in Baltimore, Md., where we are meeting folks and chronicling their lives, which are as rich and interesting as Charm City’s many diverse neighborhoods.

If you would like to be interviewed for the project or you would like to host the project in your community, please contact us via email: malaporte@me.com.