Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Am I too old for Facebook?

I’m glad to find out that I’m not the only forty-something who wonders if he might be too old for Facebook. My apprehension was reaffirmed this week by JD Lasica on his Social Media blog, where he drew attention to a Salon.com column by Michael Martin.

Essentially, Martin’s column boiled down to this: Bad things can happen to well-meaning oldsters (aka those over 30) when they hit the wrong keyboard command. And these things are bound to happen more often to those of us who have a hard enough time resetting our digital alarm clocks and finding the volume control on the master TV remote.

Filmmaker Kim Bowen lived a nightmare after she mistakenly sent a less-than flattering video clip to all her Facebook friends. Unfortunately, her friend list also included co-workers and business associates who she wished didn’t know she existed after the aforementioned clip made its rounds.

Which brings me to my own Facebook phobia. In my role as a media instructor, it’s essential that I know about MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites that are having such a profound impact on media and communication. But when it comes to networking, I prefer the old-fashioned forms, especially face-to-face meetings and phone calls.

I’m not as adept at the witty repartee that I enjoy seeing my friends exchange via Facebook. When it comes to Facebook, I’m the equivalent of a freshman wallflower at the high school dance – I want to be out there dancing but I just don’t know the steps.

So for now, I’ll continue to think twice, even three or four times, before I hit the send key. And as my wife reminds our teenagers, never post anything that you wouldn’t want your mom to see…

(Photo credit: "Return of the Nightmare Vision" by left-hand, courtesy of Flickr.com)

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