I must come clean and admit that I am on Facebook Probation. This is an embarrassing fact and yet the perfect metaphor for my slow trajectory to conquering social media. I like to remind myself that I took typing in high school and the school’s only computer in 1982 filled an entire classroom – this high tech world is just not part of my DNA. I am from a generation where the goal was to see how many words one could type per minute, not to see how many LIKES one could get for a selfie – photo blowing a kiss and making a peace sign.
Summer holiday is now 2 weeks old and I am spending ‘quality time’ with my 4 children in our apartment in Herzelia Pituah, Israel. Being in close quarters is heavenly on many fronts, but there are some downside to being so close together!
1. The non-stop teasing that comes my way when I say things like, “I saw it on the Facebook” or “I posted a photo on the Instagram’”. I know they are simply called “Facebook” or “Instagram”, but back in the day, we used to say “I saw it on ‘the TV’” or ”I heard it on ‘the radio’”. I am naturally disposed to putting the word “The’ before forms of communication.
2. Plenty of criticism for putting too many photos on Instagram at one time. There is Instagram etiquette – 5 postings at one time is not cool, 3 is acceptable, 1 or 2 are respectable. The ridicule for commenting on my own photo or not properly identifying my location.
3. Then it happened, I was put on Facebook Probation. I signed up for Facebook a few years back to see what my teens were up to. Of course, my children would not be caught dead befriending me. I then lost interest until recently, when many of my friends seemed to be on Facebook. So I returned to Facebook and started collecting friends by the simply clicking the button. I started collecting friends who were ‘friends in common,’ ‘people I might know, ‘recommended friends’. Who knew it could be so easy to collect friends! That is until a notice came on the screen that informed me I was on Facebook Probation for being too friendly and that I could not collect anymore friends for 2 weeks. When my helicopter teen-daughter who enjoys hovering saw this, she screamed in shock because many of the friends I clicked on were her friends. I explained that they all fell into one of the categories of friends solicited on my Facebook screen. Two weeks of Facebook Probation is a lot easier to deal with than the wrath of a teenager!
I am not as eager to collect friends anymore. I will keep trying to master The Facebook and The Instagram, but I am very close to just moving on to The Twitter!
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