Yesterday our second oldest son, who is living with us for the 2013-2014 school year and commuting an hour to work every day (where he teaches high school math at a large public school, coaches varsity football, and generally helps to shape young minds), told my husband and me that Facebook is no longer considered cool with high school and college kids.
Just when I thought I'd finally become one of the cool kids...Hold the [smart]pone! Facebook is on the outs? What?!
Our son proceeded to give us a little tutorial on the history of the Book of Faces, and it was enlightening. Apparently, the website was originally created for college students only, as a way to carry on intra- and inter-campus communication with peers; and back in its early days, you could not set up a FB account unless you had an e-mail address that was recognized as coming from an institution of higher education. Before FB, there was My Space, which was open to everybody and his brother (and mother and grandmother...although I certainly never knew the first thing about it); but the idea with FB was to create a social network that was just for the young, hip, college crowd.
But then FB had to be opened up, because all the first users of the network were going to graduate and become workplace adults--and once that happened, the floodgates just flew wide open and everyone was able to get an account.
Nowadays all the hipster moms and dads (ahem) are scrolling their FB news feeds, looking for pictures of their offspring to "like" (and leave corny, hashtag-filled comments about---#you'rethefunniestandbestlookingkidonfacebook #amidoingthisright?).
Hashtags: explain, please. (But I digress.)
One of my sisters teaches computer to grade school students, and she passed on some alarming info about the whole Facebook phenomenon. You're not supposed to be able to get an account until you're at least 13, I believe. But she had students as young as 8 who were active FB-ers. When she asked them about it, they admitted that their mothers had lied about their ages in order to set up their accounts for them. So obviously, people of all ages have infiltrated a social network that was never meant for them
Anyway, apparently the FB world has gotten so clogged-up with undesirables that the youngsters are turning to other forms of social media to do their thang. Now, they're into Twitter and Instagram and Vine and Snap Chat.
Twitter? No, thank you. I already blog almost daily (and sometimes I'm not quite sure why); I don't think anyone would be interested in hourly updates on my navel-gazing.
Instagram? Wouldn't e-mailing photo attachments to your loved ones serve the same purpose (is there something I'm not getting about this new social media phenom?)?
Vine? This has something to do with videos. I don't understand what it's all about (but it sounds like something that could get an immature videographer into a heap of trouble).
Snap Chat? This one definitely sounds scary, and I would hazard a guess that it's being abused on a regular basis. Basically, you can send a photo to someone's phone or computer or whatever, and it only stays there for a short amount of time and then "disappears" (although I don't believe anything that goes out into cyberspace or The Cloud or whatever you call it ever truly disappears, does it?). I can only think of one reason this was invented...and it's not good.
For many years I utterly and absolutely refused to jump on the Facebook bandwagon...and then I finally did. I'm an old dog who doesn't learn new tricks very easily, so I felt like I'd taken a huge leap into the modern high-tech world when I set up my account (and I still feel that way). Now, however, it seems that FB is about to go the way of My Space--not to mention dial-up Internet service, phone calls from a land line, and hand-written letters. But I'm done, folks. No new tricks! No new forms of social media for me, I mean it.
...Except LinkedIn, which I just joined. But that's it, scout's honor.