Growing old sucks.
As a 63 year old, I can tell you that the best thing about becoming Social Security eligible is getting monthly money from the government, paid for by the hard labor of people still working. Thank you, daughter!
Otherwise, I'm still trying to figure out what's so great about the "Golden Years."
Yes, I get a 10% senior discount at LifeSource Natural Foods here in Salem. That's one thing. Just about the only other obvious benefit of my geezer'ness is feeling freer to be a cranky old man, something that comes pretty naturally to me.
So I might as well vent about social networking gripes that have been building up in my not-quite-yet-senile psyche since I started blogging, Twittering, and Facebooking.
I started to blog back in 2003, which is about a hundred years in Internet time, given how fast things change in cyberspace. Blogging was cool back then. Now it's mostly the province of, well, cranky old men (and a few women) who write lengthy rants.
Five hundred words. Maybe a thousand words. Wow, that could be more than 5000 characters! Who's going to read something 35 times longer than a Twitter tweet?
And other brilliant, intelligent, thoughtful, literary, cultured people who understand that not everything in the cosmos can be described in 140 characters. Nonetheless, daily I peruse my Twitter and Facebook feeds, even though I'm not really into these trendier forms of social networking, blogging being my primary passion.
Here's some reasons WTF? echoes so often in my brain when I fire up the Twitter and Facebook apps on my iPhone.
-- I don't get Foursquare. Or the whole deal of telling people what you're doing and where you are at the moment. I don't give a shit if you're at Joe's Bar and have just become the "mayor" of the place, or whatever it's called when you irritate more Twitter followers than anybody else who belongs to Foursquare and tweets "I'm at Joe's Bar."
-- I also don't get it when someone fires off 35 Twitter tweets in a row, describing in 140 character bursts what's happening at a news conference, sports event, or whatever. Hey, get a free Blogger account and write a thousand word description of whatever you're so excited about. Twitter is supposed to be about brevity. 35 tweets is 34 too many in a thirty-minute time span. Send me one tweet saying "I'm live blogging X at URL Y." I probably don't care about X anyway, so this makes it a lot easier for me to ignore what you mistakenly believe your Twitter followers want to know about in excruciatingly tweety detail.
-- I'm not sure what I've done wrong with my Facebook account, but I'm sure it's Mark Zuckerberg's fault. For some reason I have no idea who most of my "friends" are. When I started up with Facebook I was desperate to have some friends, so I promiscuously sent out invitations to whoever Facebook suggested I should befriend, and I accepted friend requests from complete strangers. Now I scroll through my Facebook feed and think, "I'd care about your kid's birthday party if I had some clue who you are." I don't know how to unfriend people. I'm also afraid to in case this is a horrible social networking faux pas and they'll find out about it. Of course, since I don't know who you are, I guess I shouldn't care if you hate me.
-- Along this line, everybody who sends me LinkedIn invitations: STOP! I have no idea what Linkedin is, other than it has something to do with business networking. I'm retired. I don't even like to think about working, much less get involved with somebody else's actual working. Unless you can give me free Apple products I have no interest in furthering your career. What's especially irritating is that I continue to get Linkedin emails for months, reminding me that I haven't responded to a request from somebody I don't know to get involved with a social networking service that I don't care about.
Well, I'm almost up to 700 words of griping. I lost the Twitter crowd about 650 words ago, so I'm probably only talking to myself now. But, hey, that's what blogging is all about.