Category Archives: social media

Meet my friends.

Some of my new online friends

We tire of the wholesome appearances we make on the internet. The tally on Facebook of quiches baked, bottles of wine savored, sunsets appreciated. All opinions are positive, likes only, not even a pixel laid down that we would be ashamed of if our great-grandmother Googled and found it.

So can you blame me that in the late nights lately I’ve run with a new, rougher crowd of internet friends? I met them where all shady characters gather — in the suspect folder of my email box.

Elijah Pierre was the first. He approached me one night, looking like an elegant French biblical prophet in the flickering street light. “Use VicodinES to get rid of pain,” he said, clasping his hand to my shoulder.

We walked on. Elijah introduced me to Ahmad Roberts, whose calling card read, “Home delivery ViagraXanax Ambien.” Ervin Bower was next. We found him in a busy chat room. “Get Phentermine online!” he shouted in my direction, fighting to be heard above the noise.

Just then a young woman caught my eye.  She was like all young women — even better in my imagination. “This is Elba Sheridan,” Elijah said.

“How do you know Elijah? I asked her. She smiled coyly. “Get PercocetToday!” she replied, and shook my hand. We were joined by Elba’s roommate, Dianna C. Prince, who caught me by the arm and whispered in my ear, warm and damp, “Buy Hydrocodone online today.”

The chatroom wasn’t happening, so we caught a cab. “Let’s go to Kendall’s party,” Elba said. A wiry, goateed guy answered our knock. It was Kendall Byrne. “Need Ritalin?” he asked.  “In Need of Percocet?” a tall guy behind him said almost in response.  Everyone laughed. That was Marcelo M. Donovan, Kendall Bryne’s boyfriend of long standing.

We partied until the tail end of night. It was the first of many such jaunts to this secret place in my secret life. Each visit ends with a word of advice from Valentin Ledbetter, a Romanian descendant of the folksinger Leadbelly:  “Get a good nights rest with Ambien.”

Coming soon: “The Comic Torah”

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Woodstock was not Woodstock.

Jimi_Hendrix_on_stage_fender_stratocaster

Would it be uncool if Jimi Hendrix, 66, joined Facebook?

If you remember the 1960s and ’70s, chances are you view(ed) it as a time of tectonic upheaval, as forces of peace and love sought to displace the power of The Man, squareness, conformity, bigotry, oppression, Nixon, LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, those who couldn’t dig it, and all music recorded by or under the influence of Frank Sinatra.

With the passage of time and the Baby Boomers now staking their place toward the end of the generational queue, we’ve come to realize that a generation gap is not a near-mythic abyss, but merely a socio-biological phenomenon, as predictable and benign as the phases of the moon.

So the criticisms of us from the other side of the generational divide rankle less: Boomers are selfish, Boomers are Social Security hogs, Boomers are conspicuously environmental. And the latest, asked almost redundantly: “Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter?

“When the Baby Boomers … arrive, they tend to do so en masse. And when they set up camp, they invariably change the dynamic of the social network itself,” Robert Shrohmeyer writes in PC World, and goes on to blame the horde-over-50 for bringing with them “everything from increased political activity to a proliferation of spam.”

I don’t know what fits between those two extremes. But as extreme as it sounds, remember that this is not a replay of Woodstock — the young seeking to push aside the old — because Woodstock was not Woodstock.  This is merely about social demographics. Plus, they’re not going to push us aside.

Instead, these Millennials might run away, abandoning the current social media mainstream for the next hot young thing.

(I’ll just note there’s a new Woodstock website, which I found out about from a blog called The Sixties. The Woodstock festival took place 40 years ago in August. When I clicked on the Woodstock site, there were two ads for the Ford Fusion hybrid.)

My own Facebook friend list is multi-generational, and I admit that I communicate with my younger friends differently than those who are my age. Then again, I don’t treat my close friends the same way I treat those who know me nominally, no matter what their age.

I’m curious — how do you handle generational differences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media?  And “you” is anyone of any age or generation.

Wired has some juicy comments that address my question, including this one:

“Once older people began to like something we like, it just loses its luster. It happens with everything. Before you know it, we will have to ditch facebook and crete another site and that will be invaded. Please just stop. Why doesn’t someone create a social site just for baby boomers so you’ll leave us the hell alone.”

You can hear the basement door slam, can’t you?

Lets discuss this soon, before the tide goes out. A blog and BizReport suggest that Boomers are abandoning Facebook. Even if true, we can be sure that the generational struggle will continue someplace else.

(Just to clarify, Jimi Hendrix, born in 1942, was not a Baby Boomer. Only 7 percent of Jimi’s generation “have online social-networking profiles,” according to this informative article on CNN.com.)

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