Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
If you are over 55 and use the internet we may need to have a chat about social media and ettiquette.
In the olden days we were schooled by Miss Manners, Dear Abby and Ann Landers. We could pose a problem, and they would do their best to help alleviating your social woes.
I am sure you have heard of Facebook. It was originally a meeting place for college kids and then young professionals. Now it seems to be populated by older folks while the youngsters have scuttled quietly away as we discuss gardens and quilts and who has a new Grandbaby.
I was schooled by my daughter. I would post (write a comment, make a statement or be in favor of a thing) and shortly get a message from her saying MOTHER you can’t say that.
Now I value her comments a lot. She has dragged me kicking and screaming into this brave new world. But I didn’t realize the rules of social media were an unspoken sort of credo.
On Facebook you join, then you go about looking for people you know. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t spoken since elementary school, send that friend request out and drag them on board. After they are your friend, you can look at their pictures see what interests they have and if they are really savvy see constant pictures of their pets or what they fixed for dinner.
Ok you have friends. Now the hard part. Commenting and posting a status. Your best friend you met in the grocery store checkout lane and haven’t spoken too in person ever again, has posted something to the effect she likes guns, uses aspartame and dislikes cats. You know you must comment. Ok first off, comment if you must but don’t use ALL CAPS. Yes; it is easier to read but in modern “speak” it means you are shouting. This is bad. Your children will call you and tell you about this.
Second, remember just because someone says it, you do not have to agree or disagree. Honest, the internet will not shut down without your comment.
Third, if you comment it is not ok to hijack the post. Hijacking is when you more or less change the subject and herd this person’s friends over to your new idea. This is bad also. Sort of like butting into a conversation.
Post the thought on your own page and let the drama play out there.
Any hotbed topic should probably be avoided. You will notice the number of friends slowly getting smaller. Some of the ones who quietly disappear may even be your family members – possibly your children.
Don’t be one of those people who flit from topic to topic and make really crude or just plain mean comments. If you do, it is possible you will be called a troll.
No one likes trolls.
I enjoy keeping in touch with my cousins in Texas, family in Georgia and Florida. Sister in California along with her kids along the West coast. I keep up with other family members who may suddenly send out a photo from Mt. Rushmore or even Poland.
I have lost some friends, reconnected with people I haven’t seen since my freshman year in high school. I see art work from the Rockies and quilts from Oklahoma and Texas. I see grandchildren just hours old and friends enjoying sporting events in Oregon. I know some of my friends read my posts and never make a comment. They read and move quietly in the background.
Don’t let anyone discourage you from this social networking.
You can participate as much or as little as you wish.
You can enjoy people you know and make some new friends.
You can feel a little less lonely on holidays and get birthday greetings from around the world on your special day.
Remember to use a few courtesies and don’t be a troll.
Comment but be aware your words my offend someone.
Step into social media or lurk in the background. I failed to mention cat video’s and pet photo’s – that is a column all in its self.
Type cat, hit enter and see what happens.
The whole world awaits.