Opinion: Social Networking
After 25 years of doing that trick with the salt and pepper pots (the one where you unscrew the salt lid, place a napkin over the top, push it down with a finger so you’ve made a little reservoir, fill it with pepper, screw the top back on and carefully tear away the excess napkin around the sides. Don’t look at me like that.) I decided that it was finally time I gave something back to society.
I thought about it long and hard, but the usual ideas of projecting goodwill didn’t appeal to me. Like running a marathon, which I reasoned was essentially having some people pay for me to get fit, while some other people trotted past me to demonstrate how unremarkable I was; or helping old ladies across the street, which I surmised was likely to be considerably more trouble than it was worth. They know where the fucking button at the crossing is, don’t kid yourself.
I did briefly think about climbing a very tall mountain as well… but I couldn’t see the point.
Anyway, after much humming and harring I eventually opted for answering a parental cry for help by showing my mam (mum, mother, whatever you’re comfortable with) how to use Facebook properly. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, please keep in mind that this is the woman who once asked me, every weekend for a year, if I had a copy of Adele’s Photothingy, but when quizzed on precisely which album she meant, responded “oh it’s not music, I just want to resize some pictures”.
So, if nothing else, I figure this’ll make us even for 32 hours of labour.
What followed wasn’t the most excruciating few hours of my life, but then again I’ve accidentally hammered a nail through my thumb, and been made to watch over 4 episodes of The Big Bang Theory, so it was never likely to be.
What I don’t understand though is why anybody over the age of 50 would want to take the first tentative steps into the world of social networking. After all, Facebook might seem like an entry level way to lose all your personal details over the internet, but every one of you reading this has had years of training for it. From the weirdo dodging, dial-up assault courses of the AOL chatrooms, through to taking your own awkward cleavage photos, uncoerced, for Tumblr, not to mention all those deep and meaningful song lyrics you had as your MSN name, liking a status is a piece of piss comparatively.
Imagine the panic that would set in if you were suddenly dropped headfirst into a new craze. As blind, defenceless and awkward as newly-born potato with a rickets and a lisp. How would you know what photos it was acceptable to comment on, what groups weren’t started by members of the English Defence League, or how attractive you had to be to friend request the bar staff from The Cluny? OMG! LOL! WTF! ETC!
Actually, what’s an even more scary prospect, is that she also asked me about Twitter. I don’t foresee a day when that lovely little haven of out-of-work atheist stoners, girls who’ve been recently dumped, and non-specific rage against the right-wing media is breached by a cackle of parents trying to find out what their bairns are up to, but smartphones cost less than a tank of petrol these days, so rule nowt out.