I’ve learned that there are a few things we should think twice about doing as we get older.
Along with the obvious events such as running, jumping and arguing with our partners, I am including getting involved with social media.
I was on Facebook for a while but recently reclaimed a large part of my daily life and cancelled my membership, immediately casting many friends aside. I will not attempt to differentiate between Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat because I have absolutely no idea what the differences are.
But I had been told that “I had to have a Facebook page so I would know what my friends and family were doing.” I didn’t realize at the time that I had existed for years without knowing what my friends and family were doing but I bowed to peer pressure and established my online profile.
To do that you have to fill out a data sheet that shows where you were born, what schools or colleges you went to, what you do for a living and what your current relationship status is. You can tell people you are in a relationship, you are married, you are single or that your relationship “is complicated,” which means that you don’t fit into any of the listed categories.
Because I didn’t seem to fit into their slots, I put “It’s complicated.” Shortly after my profile went on line I was informed that my relationship was indeed not complicated and I had to change my status.
You also have to provide a photo. Some people don’t use a photo of themselves, but maybe a pet, a vehicle or a scenery shot. Others will find a photo from ten years ago when they were twenty pounds lighter with less grey hair. You can’t believe everything you see.
I spent most of my time chirping onto other people’s sites, making clever, witty replies to whatever they said or adding puns or jokes that I thought were hilarious. I learned some people have no sense of humour and took exception to what I was saying and others just didn’t get it. When you’re not talking face to face with someone, a lot can get lost in the translation.
I also began to notice how much was being posted that just isn’t true and my computer guy informed me that every quiz or game was designed to give hackers access to my computer and the last time that happened I chose to shut down.
But I don’t plan to lose contact with all those people. I figure that if they were in their home or office and a message came in from me they would stop and read it so now I intend to just walk into people’s homes or offices and sit down and tell them a joke.
I will now walk up to strangers on the street and ask, “Do you want to be my friend? Do you want to know what I had for lunch today? Has your cat done anything cute this week?
This week the Pope has suggested that people spend as much time looking at their Bibles as they do their phones or computers. But the challenge is, there are not many stories in the Bible that will make you “Laugh Out Loud” like Facebook does and certainly not any cute photos or videos you can share.
Spend more time with your real friends. At least that’s what McGregor says.