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Confessions of a Social Media Dinosaur

Social media is giving comedian Gail Forrest anxiety. Do her frustrations make her a pariah?

There is endless attention being paid to the effect of social media on teenagers these days. I sympathize with them and the stress it creates in their lives. Hold on a sec. What about my anxiety? I feel like a dinosaur on its last legs trying to navigate what the hell this new media landscape is all about. I just learned to defrag my computer which made me itch.  I want peace, quiet, and Oreos, not Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook.  Ironically I happen to be on all those sites because being a writer and comedian I have to keep up with the competition and get work. It isn’t working so please hire me. I promise I’ll say something funny for cheap.

It seems I need to be an “influencer” (huh?) to increase my audience and bank account. At this point in my life I have no desire to influence anyone especially pitching clothes I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing or health food supplements that might cause liver failure, infertility or balding. Chanel call me. Accruing followers is a job. It’s is like trying out for cheerleading over and over and over which to me is analogous to living in the eighth circle of hell.

And it never stops. Instagram has recently added “Reels” to rival TikTok. WTF! My brain exploded trying to post one; gray matter everywhere but no real reel. It was clearly not configured for the impatient, aging or easily confused. I am all three and have a rash.  I barely passed Algebra and now I have to concern myself with algorithms and SEO.  I have no idea how and need better drugs.

Is the popularity of social media driven by the need for life to move at warp speed, be instantly updated on every trend, and never engage with humans? I have FB friends I don’t know but because they know someone I know and are a friend of a friend they “friend” me.  I have developed a click tick and accept. Now I get pictures of what they had for dinner or their parent’s 24th wedding anniversary, as well as a reminder it’s their birthday. “Hey person I don’t know Happy Birthday.”

Are you still with me? I’m confused and aging as I write. This isn’t for the faint of heart or a generation that teethed on peace, love and rock and roll.

I have busted my ass to get Instagram followers. Each new one is like a small victory. And as soon as they come, they go. No stop, stay, don’t leave me. Was it something I said or didn’t say? Bad hashtags? I made it through six decades of life without a single hashtag and now I never have enough.

I’m starting to really believe “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” I still haven’t learned to sit and stay. However, I have become very good at begging my friend Diane for help with hashtags and posting videos.

I decided to poll a jury of my peers on their feelings about social media to see if I’m a pariah on this subject.

Alan:  Overrated. Conflicted. Fun for posting pictures.
David: “Don’t know anything about it”
Susie:  Somewhat informative and fb is fun
Lucy who is 9:  Fun Recipes on Instagram. Funny dancing on TikTok.
David M: Instagram is intimidating. Fun dancing on TikTok. Twitter = poisonous
Diane: Exhausting, absolutely exhausting. Can suck your life away
Lora:  Hate it. FB Should be called Brag Book. Does more harm than good.
Mark:  Too complicated. Like Instagram for the art posted. FB irrelevant. YouTube for educational and interesting videos.
Carolyn: A place where people post things because they need attention. All the bragging is obnoxious
Lindsey: (twenty three) Instagram – Fake and addictive

It appears I’m not a pariah which is comforting. I will continue to roam my way through the social media jungle. I’m not extinct yet. And remember, dinosaurs are funny too. Please follow/like me on Instagram, FB, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. I had to ask. Or send cake. I would love your comments on social media.  It will be fun to share and compare.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m 67 also, and working as a consultant. The only social media I’m still on is LinkedIn (sad, I know), and I’m so looking forward to the day I can delete my account.

    I had a FB account, but quit it when I got tired of seeing my sister’s crazy posts (think InfoWars fan club). I had a Twitter account, but I never learned anything new – it was either tweets I already agreed with or tweets that boiled my blood (think InfoWars fan club). And, social news feeds feel like an endless (literally), boring fire hose.

    But I get why you’re on it, and hope it goes great for you. Fingers crossed a cake shows up.

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Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.

 

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