My Impatient Patient
Busted... Almost.

Act Your Age!

I've been stewing over this article from the New York Times for a whole damn week. Go ahead and read it; it's short. I'll wait.

Here's the gist:

When elders -- Boomers in particular, but also Gen-Xers -- use social media, they become stupid and childish. Or, maybe it's that they remain stupid and childish, like the young people who use social media.

Apparently we are supposed to be wise and serious, as opposed to silly and airheaded. The only thing that we should use the social media for is to keep in touch with the kids and grandkids, and maybe our friends if we can restrain ourselves from sharing cat videos and clickbait articles. You know, like young people do. In a nutshell, we should act our age and get the hell off the internet.

By using Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, we are indulging in juvenile behavior, but we're old and unable to figure out the "mores" of the medium. Young'uns, on the other hand, are inherently vacuous and therefore the perfect users of social media. We old folk should lay off and read important literature, the better to impart our hard-earned wisdom to those who follow in our vootschtops.*

What a crock of crap!

So what if Larry King tweets that he is wondering what he'll look like in a beard or Cher tweets about shredding on a tuba? Evidently young'uns can do such silly posts because... they're young! I hate to break to these people, but in my experience young twits tend to remain twits. The mere fact of aging does not automatically confer maturity and gravitas.

One theory is that we aged relics use social media as a way to recapture our lost youth. (Excuse me, my eyes just rolled out of my head and I had to cram them back in.) The last thing I want to recapture is my lost youth. And if I did, I certainly don't think that I could do it through Twitter and Snapchat, for God's sake.

Oh, and by the way? If they're lucky, all the young people who think that social media belongs to them and them only are going to get old. As they do, brand new technologies will come along and they will either learn to use them or they will resist learning to use them. You know what? Either way is fine.

The author of the article was quite clever -- he interviewed psychologists and reporters who are seniors to get the data for the article. But you know what? I still call shenanigans. I know lots of elders who are using internet technology to share their wisdom, to reconnect and keep in touch with old friends in meaningful ways, and yes -- to do silly memes and post pet pictures. Not only that, I know lots of young people who do the same thing.

Anyway, I found the whole article to be insulting to both elders and young people, because it basically says that young people are immature and stupid and self-involved, and therefore allowed to use social media. Elders should have grown out of this behavior, therefore they should not use social media because it will pretty much stunt their growth.

What do you think?


*The first person who can identify the movie I stole this word from gets two pats on the head.

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