Social Media Over 50
I was late to the Internet. Dabbled with it in the late 90s at home, and learned systems as work dictated though the 2000s. As a drummer in a band I worked on MySpace a bit to get followers.
In 2005, we killed cable in the house (mostly due to the coverage of Hurricane Katrina), and then, seeking information, I found some sites I still consider home.
In 2009, I was introduced to social media…
At first I was confused why the people who bullied and threatened me in high school were sending me “friend” requests, and I cried, reliving the memories of how hard school was for me.
Then I started getting messages asking if my husband and I were swingers, they’d seen us somewhere playing together as a band, and were just asking if they could have sex with us.
My Internet experience at this point was on conspiracy sites where you were challenged, and insults were steady, but ideas were hashed out.
Then I started writing, and sometimes I cried when an article would receive 20,000 views in a day.
Perhaps I am odd, but it scared me - so many people seeing me, and my thoughts, but not really knowing me. I felt like a target. I was not a trained journalist, but I could disseminate many articles on a subject down to the pebbles of truth. And I was threatened, not just with lawsuits, but other things …
And then social media happened.
At that point I had figured out that writing non-fiction was very dangerous for my health, and began writing fiction.
Social media …
Now, I hesitate to post or write the truth as I know and have researched. I think twice before stating an opinion. As hard as it was getting 20,000 views in a day, and responding to a hundred emails, these days on social media I’m worn out by six or twelve responses.
Social media is a new concept in a relatively old world. It used to be the newspapers worked out the editorials, but now every reply is instant and in your house.
On social media I have been more attacked than when I was just writing a blog; on social media I’ve been hit on more than when I was young, cute, and hot in the bars; on social media I am even more afraid of opinions than when I was in high school.
On social media my husband received several private messages to calm his wife down from a (former) mutual friend because I challenged his “facts”. On social media another friend, a married friend, suggested we should be friends with benefits with no strings.
The thing about “social” media is that I never would’ve spoken to these folks again after high school, or after a single meeting. I would not have sought out anyone from the past unless I was still talking to them on a regular basis, and I wouldn't be in touch after an art show. Some could say I am anti-social, but I’m not, I’m just confused.
I’m confused why suddenly I have friend requests from people who were not actually friends wanting to see my life. I am confused why I accept their requests. Do I want to see their lives? And honestly, at over half-a-century, does it even matter anymore?
I’m confused why I barely know my family’s phone numbers but can reach them on social media.
I am 53, and I remember when we used to know our friends phone numbers, and we knew who our friends were, but now we have all these “friends”.
Do we have any real friends anymore?
As usual, keep seeking, and for the love that all is good, keep asking questions.