Jack Ohman

August 9, 2013

Facebook: you're as old as you feel...

Jack Ohman

Editorial cartoonist, writer and Joe King’s alter ego

I was reading the other day that some young person (under 52.9) noted that no youthful person uses Facebook anymore, because that's for Mom and Dad and Grandpa and Grandma to post photos on. 

All the cool young happening hep cats/hipsters/insert laughable retro pronoun here are doing Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine. Oh, and another one I forgot about. I'll remember it soon. You know, vagaries of age.

There was an obituary a few years back (two years or sixteen, it all runs together now) for the great WWII reporter Homer Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune and later of The New York Times. His obituary that appeared in the Times noted that Mr. Bigart stayed intellectually active "well into his fifties."

Like, OMG. LOL. 

I am sure those phrases are now officially out as well.

WTFacebook?

Oh, and I just looked up when Homer Bigart died. 1991. So that's 22 years. See? It all runs together.

Anyway, I started doing Facebook in about 2008, I guess. I can't remember. It was around then, and, yes, my kids were doing it. At first, it seemed very hip and cool (older descriptions), and I was a hip and cool 47 year old desperately clinging to life, looking for any reason to appear youthful: cycling, longer hair, and the obligatory convertible. And here I am, five years later, marginalized on the border of the media culture.

Unlike.

Someone was showing me Vine the other day. Vine is the site where you make a six second movie and post it. Now, look, I like economy of expression as much as the next person, but six seconds? How can you say anything in six seconds? I still don't have a Vine account yet, but I supposed I will be forced into that, too, and the second I get involved, I'll be complaining about the size of the buttons on the remote and making quiet remarks about how I can best keep children the hell off my yard.

At first, Facebook was really fun. I found out the precise rate of decay of all my childhood and college friends. I tracked down old girlfriends and made fun of their husband's guts. I searched out teachers and neighbors from 1971 to see if they were dead or alive. And, you can be dead and have a Facebook page, as many of you know.

It's hard to update it.

I guess now that I have 2200 Facebook friends, and that Mark Zuckerberg is viewed as about as trendy as the Joanie Loves Chachi, I will have to search out yet another Young Person Development to latch on to. You know, to feel young.

So that when I start liking it, I can feel old all over again.

I can't find the remote, either.

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