Enjoyed Kat Templeton’s “Thirtysomething” article. I am new to SF fandom, altho older than Kat (I’m 42). I’d heard about SF fandom of past decades (1930s, etc.) but only really learned about current SF fandom last year. The jargon can take some getting used to, but I don’t take it very seriously. I think that rather than needing to fit in, younger SF fans should be eager to make their own mark on fandom, in their own way — create their own legends and not be bound by the past in any way. (I’d still prefer it to be thru zines, though, either paper or electronic ones, rather than blogs, FB posts, etc. Of course, here I am commenting about a zine with a FB post instead of an LOC… That’s because an LOC seems to require more thought and planning than a mere FB post does.)
I’d also add that age can be a matter of perspective. I post occasionally on a site devoted to Lady Gaga, and the majority of posters there are either in their teens or twenties. Whenever they post a survey there of members’ ages, those over 30 can be numbered on one hand. So, I am an old, old man there. But when I post about comic books on the various sites devoted to classic comics, I am usually one of the younger posters there. Rather than making me feel left out, I think both situations provide an opportunity for me to offer a different perspective than the norm, which could be valuable. So, a thirtysomething gafiating due to feeling unwelcome because of their youth ensures that the change that they want to see will not happen, because they aren’t there to help make it happen.
There are several interesting points here but so many are directed specifically at Kat that I feel I should leave them for her to respond if she wishes. I think that’s a symptom of this being a Facebook comment rather than a letter of comment. There’s a lot of immediacy where a personal response is given and one expected in return. It’s how we communicate in social media. You also mention that a letter of comment seems to require more thought and planning than a Facebook post. This is true and is the thing that makes the zine medium different. Social media comments are valid and welcome but they are a very different creature from one where the author has sat down to construct an artefact. The construction won’t always be better than the hastily written Facebook post but it will be different and the variety is most welcome.