About a week ago, I read that 700,000 under 25s will leave Facebook in 2018. Actually, the figure has risen substantially since then. Who knows what to believe? The consensus among those who monitor these things is that youngsters are leaving Facebook in droves. Why? Well they don’t regard it as a social media place to call home, anymore. At least, not since the over 55s moved in. And move in we have, en masse. So while we login with our virtual elbows out at all angles, the kids are sliding off to Snapchat and the like.
Of all the social media platforms I’ve tried, Facebook is where I feel most comfy. I was late to the party, but I’m still here, and lost all fear of turning into a pumpkin, a long way back. I do have a Twitter account, that I torment myself with. Just can’t seem to get the hang of it. I enjoy reading informative, clever, and funny tweets. I’m a dab hand at retweeting and my hashtag skills are more than passable. I just don’t think I’m either outrageous enough, famous enough, provocative enough or confrontational enough to prompt reactions and responses from other users. I still blog, obviously. But blogging isn’t what it was when I first started nine years ago. A lot of my old favourites have gone the way of pubs and small cinemas. They’ve shut up shop and moved on. Maybe due to a drop in visitors, or a drying up of ideas. Most of those who are still plugging away, appear to be largely talking to themselves. This is what happens when the comments boxes become unwittingly redefined as one-way systems. “Hey, I really enjoyed this post. How long have you been engaged in the hobby you took so much trouble to tell us about?” No answer. The younger generation would probably shout a flat-toned “RUDE”, as they flash by blogland en route to Instagram.
Remember the term, ‘kidult’? No? Well it was quite popular at one time, for describing a person going through adultescence. In other words, a grown up occupying a generational space reserved for much younger people. Mainly under 16s. It’s a place where you can end up if you get carried away in your enthusiasm for the new and shiny. Worse still, you can appear tragically hip, in the sense that you’re overtly attempting to get down with the kids. It nearly always ends badly.
Am I bovvered, though? Nah, not really. I don’t have any Facebook friends under 25, to my knowledge. We more mature types like to exchange thought provoking stuff, you know. Works of art, informative articles, humorous video clips, archive footage, snaps of the grandchildren, an account of our aches and pains, and examples of our various talents and achievements. All pretty harmless stuff.
But all this talk of the generation gap has sparked a memory. When I was still in the world of work, I got talking to a second year undergrad about music. We often spent a few minutes discussing the latest ‘sounds’. Then one day he said, “Hey, there’s a band you really need to check out.”
“Yeah, what are they called?”
“The Kinks. Have you heard of them?”
“Well, funny enough…”
I wonder where that young chap is now? Well, he isn’t so young now, for a start. He’ll be around 40. Too old for Snapchat, just right for Instagram. Who knows, I might bump into him again on Facebook!