I laughed when my friend Rosemary recently called me an expert in social media. I am not. I’m simply more comfortable with social media than many people our age.
Rosemary and many of my friends spend thousands hiding the gray and smoothing the wrinkles. So here are my tips for them, on how to hide their social media gray:
1. Don’t insist that Twitter is about people telling you what they had for lunch. It’s not.
It’s mostly people sharing links to articles about stuff I’m interested in too. If you don’t want to tweet, that’s fine, but stop repeating an excuse that dates you.
2. While you don’t want to tell your followers or others what you had for lunch, you can tell them what you’re planning to make for dinner, assuming some are also into cooking. Respect the fine line between no-cial and social.
3. If it’s private, don’t share it in social media, email or anywhere else on the net or near any cameras.
But do phone me or, better still, drop over if your news is too steamy to share with the rest of the world. I haven’t been wire-tapped in years. The security cameras are just for show. Really.
4. Reply on the same social media platform. I’ve had new-to-Facebook friends send me emails to comment on my updates. This adds wrinkles to their profile photos.
5. Keep sending those crazy pet videos via email. I don’t want my cool social media friends to know just how many I get. I share only the funniest on Facebook.
6. Stop talking about meeting in “cyber space,” as if it’s some exotic destination. The web is routine; Sulawesi is exotic. Do not think you compensate by calling everything “awesome.”
7. When you’re having a temper tantrum, be aware that your kids may be secretly videotaping you and posting it to YouTube and beyond.
One of my Facebook friends, the offspring of old friends who think shunning social media will prevent identify theft and financial ruin, did that just recently. His Dad threatened to smother him with his foreskin–and worse. To make sure nobody missed any nasty words, he plastered the text over the video.
I’m not going to tell his parents, though this could put me in an awkward position, but I am going to disarm my kids of phones and other recording devices before my next tirade. So should you.
The cameras to record you, and the social media to distribute it, are everywhere.
Sneaky kids, and store security cameras that catch me at a bad angle on a bad day, scare me way more than a lack of privacy protection. What I reveal on social media I control.
So keep the gray hair, red-hot gossip, blue news and black moods between us. But please join me on social media. I need more friends my own age.
Thanks for the photo, Rae Z.