Nothing can get me back to London quicker than a promise of my mum’s roast dinner so here we were catching up with my family, smelling my mum’s amazing cooking, laughing at my dad’s latest escapade, with my nearest and dearest. The children play happily with my old toys, still in pristine condition from my childhood which always makes me question what on earth do my children do with their toys? The majority of theirs have lasted a maximum of 25 weeks let alone 25 years!
As ever in this day and age at social gatherings, two members of the family sit glued to their smart phones, every once in a while glancing up to share a picture or funny video and then return to their screens. Our attempts to bring them into the conversation and engage with them fall on deaf ears as they eagerly text and flick through their news feeds. The youth of today I hear you say! Although I’m not talking about teenagers or younger members of my family. These two nomophobiacs (the proposed name for those addicted to smart phones) are none other than my 80-year-old grandmothers.
Statistics show that by 2016 the percentage of the senior citizens aged 75 and over, using smart phones and tablets had almost doubled and now in 2018 this statistic is rising rapidly. With Facebook groups aimed at the “silver surfer” and other forums such as www.gransnet.com becoming increasingly popular among OAPs with Internet access I felt it only appropriate to compile a user guide for the newest generation of “social zombies.”
Key Characteristics of a Silver Surfer on Social Media Sites
To enable us to identify online OAPs I have found the following key characteristics helpful:
- Profile pictures may include pictures of pets, blurred selfies or landscapes.
- Excessive “liking” of their children’s and grandchildren’s photos dating from recent photos to the retro archives of 2008.
- Comments are commonly signed off “With lots of love Nanny Mabel Grandad Joe and Jasper the dog”
- Typical posts to be shared are those chain like posts “share for 200 years good health” “share with 5 friends for lifelong happiness”
- Frustration at the lack of response from celebrity pages they have commented on. “I don’t like that Alexander Grande anymore she hasn’t even wrote back to me” (Ariana.. Nan..)
Social Media Platforms in a Nutshell
Facebook – A place to reunite with old friends and see each others photos. Somebody’s “status” tells you what they are up to or how they are feeling. You can also join online groups and share common interests.
Twitter – A place to share short status updates through what is known as “tweets.”
Instagram – People share photos they take on their phones and wait for the number of “likes” they get. The likes are little hearts you press if you like the photo.
Pininterest – Not a clue myself and I’m 30.
People to look out for on Facebook/Social Media
- The Attention Seeker – Commonly updates their status with a short comment such as “Pissed off” or “Just at the hospital.” Thereby leaving the whole of Facebook in suspense as to what dramatic tribulation is unfolding in their lives this time and encouraging you to ask “What’s the matter hun?”
- The Selfie Addict – A constant stream of photos of themselves pulling a face which looks slightly like a constipated duck.
- The Troll – A slightly deranged type of human who purely goes on the Internet to criticise and demean others with cruel comments while sitting home alone, eating ready meals and wallowing in their own menial self worth.
- The Jet Setters – Do they even have the rights to a British passport they are on holiday so much? Beautiful photos of sunsets over the Indian Ocean and white sandy beaches hit our newsfeeds while we carry out our mundane lives in the dreary November drizzle.
- The Pervy Mervy – Basically the guy with the flasher mac now has a computer to ask people for nude photos or send you photos. Grim.
Common Acronyms used on Social Media and Forums
LOL – not lots of laughs or lots of love. This mean laugh out loud when you find something amusing.
IDK – I don’t know.
FYI – For your information.
PMSL – Pissing myself laughing (tena lady moment)
OMG – Oh My God.
#nofilter – a filter is something people use to deem them more attractive in the form of a dog, reindeer etc.
DIL/SIL – daughter and son-in-law
DH, DGC, DGD, DGS – the D represents Dear or Darling. Therefore Dear Husband, Dear Grandchild, Dear Granddaughter and Dear Grandson.
AIBU – Am I Being Unreasonable?
Alternate Acronyms for the older generation
ROFLSH – Rolled onto Floor Laughing – Send Help
ATB – At the Bingo
BITD – Back in the Day
IMD – In my Day
WRW – Who Remembers When
JRME – Just Resting My Eyes
KT – Kids Today
EBS – Early Bird Special
The Age of the Silver Surfer
In my opinion I think having my elderly relatives online is great. It means I can share photos of the children and interact with them better as we live so far apart now. Also with so many elderly people housebound and isolated, especially in the winter months, it’s a great way for people to interact with the outside world and feel they are still involved with the community. So if your elderly neighbour or family member does have a new smart phone take the time to help them set it up and understand it, it may just be the lifeline they need.
P.S. I have been nominated for a UK Blog Award! If you would like to vote for me I shall love you forever and grant you three wishes… Here is the link….. No signing up or entering emails or anything just a simple click and then click the heart!