My Mom loves Facebook. She is touching 80 but ever since she discovered Facebook she has a look that had been missing for many years. For my Ma this Zuckerberg invention loaded on to her smart-phone is as cool as her daily dose of reminiscing.
From recent reports, it is evident that this social networking platform is losing its charm with the young. It is no more cool. And I am not surprised. When I was young, my coolness factor increased with increasing degree of separation of adult supervision, societal acceptance and established views. Thus, it was cool to smoke in the schoolyard. It was cool to listen to rock loud and be yelled by neighbours. It was cool to study all night long and challenge the pre-electricity compulsion of early to bed. It was cool to read stuff that the teachers frowned upon. It was cool to hide from the adults. Then the future was an unknown adventure and current rooted in someone else. Therefore, it was cool to want to break free. And with Facebook, you no more break-free you are part of the billion plus addicts.
But as I grow older, I find comfort in the smooth stalking that Facebook allows. I break my head and grope my memory to remember actual interactions with old school mates. But I excitedly accept their ‘friend’ request. I smile when i see instagrammed shares of my children’s activity – from the food they eat, concerts they attend and random snaps of youthful experimentation. And I make it a point to ‘like’ updates that my wife posts sharing the couch. And, she does the same for mine.
Not because I want to necessarily conform but merely to reassure myself that I am connected. And I can only imagine that this sentiment must be so much more powerful for my Mother who lived most of her life in the post-a-letter book-a-call process-a-photo-in-a-darkroom era. She, and others of her vintage, must have gone through so many days of isolation. So many days of wondering if those who were once dependent on her, really cared anymore. Yes, at her age, and increasingly in my, it is cool to be cared – even if it is with a simple click on that ubiquitous Like button.
Now she smiles with each notification of a Like. And this is super cool.
theyeahway: be generous with your Likes and spread happiness in your virtual and real worlds