Back in the flip-phone era someone once said you could spot a person over 50 by how they pushed buttons on a flip phone. Over 50, they used their index finger, as they would have on a rotary phone. Under 50, they use thumbs. Today, the generations get shorter and shorter. I’m barely over 40 and people stopped asking me to help them with their computer issues about 18 years ago. Now, I do have this fancy blog, so that makes me savvy, right. No, I’m already scarred by the tread-marks of technology and media that I do not grasp.
I’m the Facebook micro-generation – a 5 to 8 year window of people who jumped in to Facebook with both feet. I had a Myspace page briefly, where privacy was nil (who’s looking anyway?) and you ranked your top 8 friends. Then Facebook came out and killed it. I was in that big wave of users when Facebook went from a cool .edu college thing to something everyone participated in. I have a few friends who are not on Facebook and it’s like they don’t have electricity. They own businesses (one is in P.R.) but no social media. God bless them and their quiet cabin-in-the-mountain lives.
I barely understand Twitter. I’m on Twitter, strictly for my writing persona. I’ve tweeted blog updates and a few other things related to writing, and I follow a host of things I’m interested in, but it’s a distant second to Facebook. I can go a few weeks without even looking at it. And when I do, there’s nothing there but a bunch of people trying to sell me stuff. But everyone says Twitter is more effective for marketing, which I guess is true if you expect to go there and be sold. I don’t completely understand the #hashtag. I get that it’s helpful for the en masse commentary when everyone is watching #sharknado. But no one can explain why the # is needed. If you just put the WORD without the # it’s still searchable, right? Please, someone explain this to me. Comment below. #explainittome #theyremeaningless
Instagram – I know it exists. It’s for pictures of food.
Snapchat – No. And my 2 year-old will never know either. (I searched for a funny snapchat meme and I didn’t even understand those.)
Editor’s note: After using 2 memes in this blog, memes are officially out of style. They are the denim shorts of social media interaction.
Pinterest – This is for home decor. I mean, I understand that it can be for anything you like, and getting ideas from other people with similar interests, but let’s be honest, it’s for home decor. Want a good backyard pergola idea? It’s there. Want a cool jackolantern concept, yup. To me, it’s just one more password to remember. Pinterest gives you ideas for things to do. I don’t need more things to do.
LinkedIn: This one is tough. There’s soooo much potential for LinkedIn, but it’s basically where I connect with people who I don’t want to be connected to on Facebook. And the people who work for LinkedIn are relentless with their solicitations. I have a colleague who turned a LinkedIn connection into a major account, and to this day it is the single example of someone actually turning their time on LinkeIn in to money. Granted, I’ve not searched for a job in the LinkedIn era. The company I work for encouraged everyone to put together a nice looking profile so we could interact with potential clients, going as far as to bring in a photographer for headshots. After that, I was inundated with inquiries from headhunters. So, the lesson is, if you notice a colleague renovating their LinkeIn profile, you can bet they are on the market.
All Others: “What’s Aaap” or something (is that still a thing?), Chat Roulette (same question) and the seven new social media sites that I will never know about because they are secrets like Bit Coin (only hackers and teenagers understand it), I don’t acknowledge their existence if they agree to offer me the same discourtesy.
I’m just going to be happy if I can make Twitter useful before it goes away.
The next wave of social media is going to be about leaving no electronic footprint. And entire snapchat-internet that vanished in 10 seconds. My kids will be WAY more aware of online privacy than I am, and I’m fairly careful. In fact, I’ll probably have to scrub my Facebook page before my son gets one (of course, Facebook will be like an AARP membership to him.)
Eventually the hashtag will go the way of the Pet Rock, *69, bread makers and Keurigs**. (Someone just read this and does’t know what *69 is. (Noun – *69, [star sixty-nine] – A telephone function in the 1990s that enabled users to hear the phone number that last called their line. Existed prior to caller ID. also: The title of an REM song from the same era.) We used to pay EXTRA for it!
**Keurigs are the air popcorn popper / break maker / fondue pots of this decade. Mark my words. Thrift shops will be full of them.
P.S. After writing this, I stumbled across this fascinating article about how Keurig is in trouble because their patent on the K-cups ran out! Apparently they make all of their money off the coffee, not the brewers. So… their big innovation is a new K-cup 2.0 (new patent) that can brew more than one serving at a time! Holy crap, I have one of those, it’s called a Coffee Maker! I can make 4 -12 cups in that thing, using Coffee Grounds 1.0. In the 2.0 version, each K-cup has a micro chip so that it only works with their cups. (Yes, every cup of coffee we drink must consume the plastic container and a microchip. No word on whether new new K-cups also work in Hewlett Packard inkjet printers.) Naturally, some teenagers already figured out how to avoid the 2.0 cups using tape and paperclips.