A Boomers View on Social Tokens
I proudly stand behind the fact that Wikipedia certifies me as dead smack in the middle of being a Gen X’er. I grew up as a punk rock kid of the 80s, traveled around as a wanderer throughout most of the 90s and finally settled down to raise a family for the past 2 decades. I have lived an active life, have always felt young at heart and although I would never consider myself a “Tech Guy” per se, I feel far from being tech illiterate – or so I thought until I entered into the world of crypto.
It seems to me that within the greater crypto space the term Boomer has a slight derogatory connotation. I guess it seems understandable in a tech sense, since when it comes to real Boomers I think of my parents. Since the days of phone calls needing help to reset the clock on their VCR to currently needed help finding that lost shortcut on their iPhones, I have always been their tech support. So while I have tried to stay current with technology and don’t feel totally tech inept, when it comes to the world of crypto I am a Boomer – 100%.
In the past 8 months I have gone from buying my first piece of Bitcoin in a Robinhood account, to opening a Metamask wallet, yield farming and becoming a member of a dao – seemingly big steps. But with all that, I have bumbled around and made all the newb mistakes to be had. I have sent coins to wrong addresses to be forever lost, I have paid huge amounts of gas fees to accidentally only trade a single 25cent token, I thought Pepe the frog was actually pronounced Peep, and of course I’ve aped into my fair share of tokens because they were only supposed go up – I’m a crypto Boomer.
In regular life, I am a guy who has spent the greater part of his life building houses for people in neighborhoods, so I don’t know the first thing of how to build protocols or metaverses. And while I have an art degree of years past and I know how to stretch my own canvases and pour a bronze casting, I couldn’t begin to tell you how to make an NFT or animate a 3d world. So where does that leave me? And I know that I am not alone. What do the millions of us fellow “Boomers” do once we have fallen down into the rabbit hole of crypto and fallen in love with the space?
Many people like myself began their journey with a purchase of their first piece of a Bitcoin – that scary step into the shady underworld of finance. But, like many, with a small bit of imagination and curiosity one begins to quickly wander and find more interesting ideas within the space – which inevitably, at least for me, creates the feeling of wanting to be a part of something and wanting to find a voice.
For months I have been lurking around countless Discord groups looking for a home. I whimsically look at the job listings and “Introduce yourself” sections only to be discouraged by the 1000th “I am 25 years old, have a masters in finance from Harvard, and have been programming Solidity and Python for 10 years for protocols X,Y and Z and I am here to help.” OK… Where does that leave a someone like me? How does this sound? I am 48 years old, have 25 years experience as a finish carpenter and I have strong skills with Microsoft Word and Windows Paint. Am I supposed to send this to the team at Synthetix or Aave and expect that team position I so longingly desire? Hardly! So I dug deeper into that crypto rabbit hole, from Defi to Daos to – Social tokens?
Perhaps it is the punk rock kid in me who grew up with Zines and collectives, but the social token space seems to be different and seems to make sense. A place where everyone has a chance to find a community, find a voice and participate in an exciting new world. Crypto pulls the new in for the so-called “life changing money”, but what if it is a place that can also change your life?
So that brings me to today. Here I am with my attempt to make my first contribution. Its not a new protocol, NFT or revolutionary Defi idea, it’s an autobiographical blurb attempting to reconcile myself and mint a piece of that into the space. Simply said, it’s Boomer raising his hand saying “Hey, I like this space and want to contribute, but this is all I have for now.” Yet as I sit and typing this, self-doubting and scared to send it in, I really feel there is no way I am alone.
I know there is a virtual sea of Discord lurkers out there like myself who day in and day out call these communities their homes and see fellow members as virtual friends – yet remain silent because they feel like they don’t have anything noteworthy to say. It reminds me of school where a lot of them are that kid who always sat in the back of the class who always got the highest grades and had the most insights, but no one ever knew because they were too shy to ever speak up. But the thing I keep thinking is that silent sea is huge and powerful. They are the collective many that really makes or breaks even the best ideas from the best developers. They are the professors, artists, musicians, teachers, social workers, stay at home parents and countless other arrays of people who as a collective have an invaluable supply of life skills, knowledge and a willingness to help – they just don’t have an easily accessible onramp.
This is where I see the potential power of the social token. What happens when this Dao space really moves beyond NFT investor clubs and self-governing Defi protocols and the space really opens and gives ownership to people’s passions, talents and life stories? Whether it’s investor clubs, book clubs, humanitarian causes or just a place to share your art, music and pictures with a shared community, once that becomes integrated with the larger crypto space then it is game on. When the day comes that I can open a electronic wallet to buy a cup of coffee, upload my days work, read my news, interact with my favorite author, chef or musician all the while feeling like I’m not the product, but rather I am in control of my own social space – that is a day I look forward too. And again, I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us who have desires, passions, skills and a real love for this space who simply need a nudge or perhaps even an encouraging hand to get the guts up to stand up, speak out and become a part of something truly revolutionary.