I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I realize it is here to stay and in order to keep up with our world it’s important to keep up with technology, but does that have to include social media? Now that we have the store Instagram and Facebook are great ways to communicate with customers. I love its functionality that way, other aspects of it, not so much.
Years ago, after purchasing my first iPhone and needing a little ongoing tutorial on how to make it work, I turned to my teen-aged grandson for help. It never occurred to me that I could be a nuisance with all my questions until one day I saw his post on Facebook: Old People Should Never Have Smart Phones! After gently reminding him that I was one of the key players who helped him learn how to stop pooping in his pants when he was a little boy and it was his duty now to help me with technology, he sheepishly relented and begrudgingly walked me through it. Now, years later, about the time I’ve figured out the hows and whys of Facebook I find an article posted on a blog by a twenty something blathering on about how Facebook is for “your grandma” and the young and cool and happening place to be is Instagram. How disappointed this overly confident millennial/Generation Z-er would be to know that one out of four Instagrammers are over 50. Because I am the lover of all things statistic let me just add that as of a last count in late 2017, Instagram had 800 million monthly active users beating out Facebook and Snapchat. That seems like a lot of selfies to someone who grew up in a generation where we took pictures of other people.
I have been more than a little creeped out on several occasions when my phone takes on a life of its own and decides to inform me how long it will take to get home or a subject pops up on Google that my husband and I were just discussing. Creep meter alert. It’s like this little device takes on a personality of its own.
I want to be social media self-sufficient. Not because I love social media but because it is a business tool and I am tired of the knowing looks when I don’t know what a term is and the younger people in the room don’t expect me to know. The other day I tried to do a tag and share, and it took nearly an hour. An hour I can never get back spent staring and tapping at my phone screen. I decided to start doing some research of my own and vowed to get better at Instagram. My grandson is all grown up with a family of his own and living far away so I can no longer pester him with my questions. I decided GOOGLE was the next best thing and probably less likely to make me feel stupid than someone rolling their eyes at me. It worked well. I now know things like how to do an Instagram story and what boomerang means.
I was almost feeling confident enough to start a Twitter account until the scariest thing happened. A few nights ago, after I had taxed my brain with several you-tube videos on how to add to my Instagram stories and other related items I never wanted to know, I was tired. I decided to reward my hard work and research with a relaxing bath, bubbles and all. I dialed in an audiobook and all was right in my world. I had placed my phone nearby, so I could hear my book and as I was enjoying the soak I noticed my phone screen was lit up. I can barely read the notices without my glasses, so I picked the phone up carefully trying not to get any bubbles on it, and through squinty eyes I read: CINDY RYDER CONNER HAS STARTED A LIVE INSTAGRAM STORY…
I threw the phone and did a submarine dive under the bubbles convinced that once again my phone had taken on a life of its own and started a live video of my bath because of something I had done while experimenting with my self-induced Instagram knowledge . In reality it was an Instagram notification to me- Cindy Ryder Conner- that SOMEONE ELSE had started a live video. In the seconds it took to realize that I had not filmed my bath, I was beyond horrified. Maybe old people really shouldn’t have smart phones.