Baby Boomer media is spreading like wildfire or so it seems these days. But that’s not surprising. We are, after all, the largest generation in existence at the moment and therefore wield a lot of power. Of course, people want to write about us, entertain us and woo our hard-earned dollars away from us.
And a lot of us are part of the media in our own rights. We’re writers, journalists, editors, publishers, producers, filmmakers, web developers and technology gurus.
We’re all over social media these days – updating our Facebook pages, tweeting about our latest escapades, linking in with others in our field, or trying to master the newest and latest thing to come into our radar arena.
So the Baby Boomer media frenzy is not just for or about us. It is for a large part by our lifestyles. We’re the ones who are making it happen. Kind of exciting, don’t you think?
A new book by Mary Pipher, psychologist author of "Reviving Ophelia," is a great guidebook for Boomer women facing aging issues. "Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing as We Age" is all about how to think and embrace life as we make this journey.
A book released a few years ago by a Baby Boomer provides a fresh perspective on the 1960s. "Turning the Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s" is more than just a history of the university. It pulls together all the historic events of the times.
A Duane Allman book, released in 2014, provides a fresh perspective on the talented guitarist Baby Boomer who was killed shortly before turning 25 in 1971. Daughter Galadrielle Allman was only 2 when he died and was determined to know him better. It took her five years, but at 45, she now feels she has completed a puzzle about her father.
Boomers buy more than 25 percent of the new books coming out. Almost 90 percent of us watch television regularly, 80 percent of us surf the internet, 70 percent of us listen to the radio, 66 percent of us still read newspapers (when we can find them) and 60 percent of us read magazines.
Lots of us are not only reading the books coming out, we’re writing them.
There’s even a movement afoot for starting a new literary genre called Boomer Lit. Although it hasn’t been officially adopted by the publishing world, there is some buzz about it, particularly on the website Goodreads.
Author Claude Nougat started a discussion group there and argues that Baby Boomers were responsible for creating the Young Adult genre in the 1960s/1970s as teenagers. We’re now creating and reading what logically should be called Boomer Lit.
The discussions taking place include distinguishing what actually constitutes Boomer Lit. It’s not books by Boomers that revisit our youth necessarily. It’s books by us that address the issues we’re facing now at this stage in our lives. The characters are ones we can identify with – they face the challenges we face. They share the adventures we experience.
Some examples include Deborah Moggach’s “These Foolish Things” which was made into the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” about British retirees in India, Elizabeth Strout’s “The Burgess Boys” about Boomer siblings re-inventing their relationship in face of a family crisis, or Nougat’s “A Hook In the Sky” addressing retirement issues.
Hollywood is also paying attention to the demand for Baby Boomer media. Recent films include “Last Vegas” about aging Boomers gathering for a last fling in Las Vegas, “Captain Phillips” about the Boomer merchant ship captain being captured by Somalian pirates and played by the ultimate Boomer star Tom Hanks.
And there’s “Gravity” starring Boomer Sandra Bulloch, “The Descendants” with George Clooney dealing with losing his wife, “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones examining their marriage.
And the list of Boomer movies goes on.
And then there’s television. Established shows like “Blue Bloods” features Boomer Tom Selleck and “NCIS” stars Boomer heartthrob Mark Harmon. “The Blacklist” features Boomer James Spader and "NCIS New Orleans" features Scott Bakula.
While the stars of Netflix's original sitcom, "Grace and Frankie," are not actual Boomers, they play Boomers.
Whatever the venue, Baby Boomer media is clearly a growing phenomena. And rightly so – we’re a huge proportion of the population supporting the media and we don’t want to be left out of anything.
That’s who we are.