Today I came across a rare creature: a 22-year-old student who had never used Facebook or Twitter…trying to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter for the first time.
As this social media deprived human attempted to set up his first Twitter account, it soon became apparent how foreign social media can be to those who have no clue how to use it. (Sorry mom for getting frustrated with you when I tried to teach you how to use Facebook). When he asked me “What is the purpose of the ‘@’ sign?” I knew it was in for a challenging next few hours.
I am a social media addict. I check Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat more times a day than I can even keep track of. Most of us Millennials do. We’ve grown up during a social media evolution that has changed the way millions of people communicate around the world. We use #hashtags, emojis, memes, gifs, etc. Side note- today I also had to answer the question, “What is the purpose of a hashtag?” and “Can you tweet a meme?” and “Are tweets organized alphabetically?” *face palm* How do you explain something that might as well be as innate as breathing–How does it work? IT JUST DOES.–I’ve been using Twitter for 8 years now. My little cousin was Tweeting by the time she was 10 years old. A 2009 survey by the Pew Internet Research indicated that 61% of teens ages 13-17 use social networking sites. That was 2009…that statistic has jumped up to 71% of teens using more than one social networking site in 2016.
Nevertheless, we successfully made it through our social media how-to session today, and I gained a soft spot for those who have ever had trouble understanding the vast world of social media (especially if they didn’t grow up using it).