Social Media Apps Explained for Old People (a.k.a. Parents)

I’ve been working in the technology field for almost 25 years, so of course that means two things: I’m an expert on all things related to computers and I’m getting old. Right? Well, you’d be half right: I am getting old! And strangely, I’m finding that age seems to be inversely proportional to understanding some technologies, most notably the various social media apps that are out there.

Being of a certain age, I’ve been somewhat resistant to delving into this crazy world our teens live in, but just recently it became painfully obvious that if I wanted to be able to communicate with my 18, 16, and 13-year-olds, I’d better start changing my ways. Ever try to leave a voicemail on your kids’ phones lately? Do they even have it set up? Mine don’t! Even texting seems to be getting outdated when it comes to knowing what your kids are doing these days. And just when I was getting the hang of it!

So that brings me to the world of InstaTwitterSnapBook. Well, that’s not exactly right, but I’m getting there. What follows is both a quick explanation of some of the more popular apps out there today along with a rating of how your usage of them reflects on your coolness with your teenage kids:

Facebook

You can post your pictures, comments, and update your status to stay connected to your friends and/or family. While this pretty much started it all, it’s pretty much already been abandoned by your kids by now. Great place for old people to feel young, but you’re not earning points with your kids.

Twitter

Short text snippets (140 characters) of your thoughts and activities, not meant to tell your life story or be a lasting tribute to your achievements. Sounds like the perfect vehicle for our short attention-span society, doesn’t it? This one kind of bridges the gap between young and old, so if you’re trying to earn points, this is the one to master.

Instagram

Take pictures on your phone and instantly post them for sharing. Think of this as Facebook, but only for the pictures and seemingly tailored for the dreaded “selfie” and not much more. This one is highly used by the teens, but if you’re using it and you’re over 30, you’re losing points.

Snapchat

If you thought Twitter was for the short attention-span, welcome to Snapchat. Take a picture or video on your phone and send it to whomever you want. They can view it for up to 10 seconds and then it’s gone. Forever. No second chances! Perfect to prevent unwanted “re-posts”, but you’d better be quick. Highly popular with the teens, but also acceptable for the older generation. Definitely raises your swag factor!

So there you have it in a nutshell – not a detailed explanation, but at least a guide us older folks can use without becoming even more lame in the eyes of our kids. Enjoy!

One Comment on “Social Media Apps Explained for Old People (a.k.a. Parents)

  1. Thanks. I am getting old too ! I learned alot and maybe this will help communicate with my grandchildren… LOL

    Like

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