I recently saw where there was a bit of an internet clash between the millennial culture and Generation Z.

Apparently it started when someone said that millennials were deemed uncool for using skinny jeans, a side part in their hair and the crying/laughing emoji.

It was as if the younger generation was saying you were old and outdated if you used those things.

So that got me thinking that there are lots of social media hallmarks for people “of a certain age.” And before I get into it, let me state clearly that I am of that certain age so unfortunately some of these things apply to me as well.

Here’s how to tell if you, like me, are over a “certain age” on social media.

1. You have a Facebook account and use it regularly. I don’t think anyone under the age of 25 uses Facebook. “The kids,” as we call them, use other platforms we don’t even know about. Most of us are aware of Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, but trust me there are other social media platforms that we’ll only learn about when they’re outdated and the kids have moved on to something else.

2. You fill out every quiz that pops up in your timeline. Please know that absolutely no one cares which Hogwarts house you belong to, which “Facts of Life” character you are, what your spirit animal is or what Downtown Abbey character you’d be.

3. You comment without reading and ask questions without reading. I see this a lot, especially on real estate posts. Someone can post “3 bedroom house for rent in Silver Creek. Rent is $800 per month. No Pets.” Well, here comes Sylvia asking “Are pets allowed?” and right behind her here’s Richard: “How much is the rent?” Y’all just need to read the post THOROUGHLY before you start commenting or asking questions.

4. And speaking of reading ... You immediately “like” and “share” articles or items without even bothering to read what it’s actually about or to see what it is you’re helping to spread. So many times I’ve seen people post the most awful things and when someone says “I can’t believe you posted this,” they respond with “Oh my. I didn’t read it. I just thought the headline was interesting.”

5. You always share those photos or posts that begin with “SHARE IF YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS” or “SHARE IF YOU REMEMBER THIS PLACE” and then it’s a photo of an old sewing machine or a rotary dial telephone or a RadioShack. And if you didn’t share the photo you’re quick to comment, “I sure do. My granny had one of those in her kitchen” or “We had one of those when I was growing up. Kids today will never know how good they have it.”

6. You post anything that begins with “I bet no one will share this” and it’s something that literally EVERYONE would share. Like a photo of a puppy with the American flag in the background or a newborn baby being watched over by an angel. Those are things that most people would happily get behind and share. But you think you’re somehow brave and unique for sharing it.

7. This is a big one and I don’t have to call you out; you know who you are. You share photos and articles with the header “The media doesn’t want you to see this” or “Facebook wants this photo banned” ... as if you, a 54-year-old Summerville resident, is somehow outwitting Mark Zuckerberg by sharing something with your 13 friends. Most of the time the very thing that “the media doesn’t want you to see” has been published by various media, days before, but somehow you think you’ve got secret sources of information. You don’t. It’s clickbait. And you fell for it.

8. You have no concept of filtered photos. You’re from the generation where a photo captured every unflattering flaw and there was nothing you could do about it. But now we can filter and tweak photos to minimize or eliminate many of the things we don’t like about ourselves. And that’s the norm now. Anyone can be an Instagram model. But you don’t fool with all that. You took the most unflattering photo of your granddaughter and you quickly post it on Facebook for the world to see.

Here’s the new photo protocol. First you let someone know you’re taking a photo, so they’re prepared and don’t look like a deer in headlights. Then you show them the photo to get their approval. Retake it several times if necessary. Next, you use various filters to make sure the person’s lighting is good and that their wrinkles and chins aren’t visible. Then you ASK if you can post it to social media. Then, and only then, are you allowed to post those photos. I’m sorry, that’s just where we are as a society.

We’re all getting older and if a few of these things apply to you then I’m sorry to say that you’re “social media old.” But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Let’s embrace getting older and hope that our wisdom shows more than our ignorance.

“Like” and “Share” this column before it’s banned by Facebook.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

Recommended for you