Today, I am reminded that 90% of the people using FaceBook are either young (under 30) or old (over 50). On top of that, these are people who either grew up on FB (the youngsters) or think that FB *is* the internet (the olds). And the overlap of just dumb people who share characteristics of both groups.
Sure, there are plenty of us on FB who have been internet users since the 90s. We were there for AOL, dial-up, Mindspring (RIP), the platform wars (Apple vs Microsoft), Nutscrape (3.0 GOLD!!), Dogpile, Alta Vista, HTML websites, screen savers (Boris, Flying Toasters), Hamster Dance, chat rooms, usenet and having to manually find answers to EVERYTHING. WE are the OG Internet Geeks and WE know what’s up. We knew the nascent internet, when it was pretty useless unless you were very persistent and crafty. WE WERE. We still are. We know the true shitshow that is social media, because we remember the ‘net without it. And it was GLORIOUS.
Here is my take on the various groups and what it’s like to be an OG. It ain’t pretty.
The youngsters are oblivious to everything and can’t do a Google search to save their lives. They have grown up with the sum of human knowledge in their pockets, yet are unable to use any of it. I really don’t understand WHY this is, just that it is. If I had $1 for every time I’ve done a simple Google search and hand fed the answer to a youngster, I’d not be worrying about my bills. It is at the same time extremely irritating and fascinating. I think it’s the generalized dumbing down of education that is the root of this lack of intellectual curiosity and intellectual laziness. It’s also lack of training on how to use a search engine to find what you’re looking for – a basic internet literacy course would go a long way. These users are using FB less and less, mostly because they don’t want to be on the same platform as their parents and other clueless olds. When they do use FB, it’s spotty and not nearly as obsessively as other groups. They generally are not too bothersome on FB because they are too busy with TikTok.
The olds are ALSO oblivious to what is actually going on with FB, but they THINK they are not. They think that they control their accounts and FB can be trusted to keep personal memories, photos, etc. They also think that FB is the whole internet and they use FB like a search engine. This is because they don’t know how to use The Google, and they can’t understand the difference between The Google and The FaceBook. These are the people who post stupid shit without checking it, play every game presented, give out their personal info, then go insane when their account is hacked. They then ask for help, but reject what they are told – which is generally: too bad, so sad, welcome to FB, the miner of personal data. These people are not worth engaging, they are militantly ignorant and will not listen to a word you say. These are the ones who insist that making a police report will solve the problem. LOL They also scream about “cybercrime” a lot. I’ll get back to this.
There is a subset here of people who are not all that old, but they are still ignorant AF about the internet and how it all works. These are the people who act just like the olds, but are not in that demographic. They, too, cannot use Google, just like the youngsters. I call them the Dumbasses, and these are to be avoided just like the others. Lots of Karens in this bunch and they will TOTALLY call the manager to get this FB issue FIXED. LOL
Then there’s us, the OG Internet Geeks. Most of us are Gen Xers with a smattering of Millennials. We are ALWAYS ignored, but we actually are the ones who know what’s up.
We are the ones who put up with these other assholes day in and day out. We listen to their whines about how unfair it all is, how FB is to blame for their account being hacked (not that abc1234 pw or the info given out to data mining, of course), how you just can’t PROVE anything on the internet, there’s no way to find information, blah blah blah.
We try to help these morons, yet it is a thankless job, since they typically don’t really WANT help, they just want someone to commiserate and validate their butthurt.
Today I was in the mood to troll a little, and I found the perfect Karen for it. I had TRIED to offer her help with her hacked account, firstly by telling her that calling the local police was a waste of time. Which it is. What did I get for my trouble? Well, a scolding, of course! What else? I don’t think this person is an old, but she is definitely a dumbass Karen. After I told her that local police do not control FB (I’d deleted by the time I did the SS), she went OFF about how she lost her something something and can’t get it back and she has a “background” in criminal justice, so SHE KNOWS WHAT TO DO!!! So, I wrote back, “Didn’t realise this was a PERSONAL ISSUE, not a FB issue. NEVERMIND. Jaysus. You’re not looking for assistance, you’re looking for validation. I misread your ask.” She is so oblivious that she ANSWERED THAT. The snark went right over ole Karen’s head. ::cackle::
I wish this was an isolated incident, but it is not. Notice the indignation that I dared to actually help – not commiserate – and the dumb’s favourite claim: “cyber crime”. Yep. FB is a cesspool of ignorance. I am there because I admin umpteen pages for our stuff and clients. I get really sick of this shit, y’all.
I DO know how it all works. I DO remember when the internet was snarky AF, but you knew that going into a chat room, so it was OK. I DO remember having to word your searches just so to get any decent results. That is why my Google Fu is strong, I’ve searched without it! I do remember hand coding sites and I’m damned glad there is CMS now (WordPress). I do remember BLOGS and the vast amount of content we dumped into them. (This one is 23 years old and has 1473 posts!) I have a whole different view of the internet than the above mentioned and I DO know that social media has fucking ruined society because I’ve watched it happen.
I’ve watched the internet, the sum of all the knowledge of humanity, become a zoo full of shit flinging monkeys.
Twitter, FaceBook, InstaGram, TikTok, YouTube, ALL OF IT is nothing more than distraction. It is trash. We OG bloggers know this, but good luck getting the FB crowd to see it.
This is why we OG folk are coming back here, to our blogs. No more content given to FB or other bullshit social sites. We are taking back our content and some authors (including me) are starting up Substack email newsletters (free and paid) again. We are going back to pre-social media times and controlling our content. We are sick and tired of FB using our content for free. Yes, our blogs are public and free, but we are not handing over our content to an entity who can do with it as they wish – AND we are getting our content indexed by Google rather than being ONLY in FB. Substack is set up for monetized newsletters, which I think is GREAT. People are used to subscriptions for everything now (another rant for another day), so why not subscribe to an author you like, right?
So, we OG Internet people invite all of you to leave the walled garden of FB and the others. Come OUT to the internet. See its expansive content.
It is the sum of all human knowledge at your fingertips; it is amazing and mindblowing and beautiful and terrible and VAST.
Come on out here. Leave the curated and algorithmed bullshit of platforms. Come out and learn things. Come out and see the art of 1000s people, the cultures of 1000 societies, the recipes of 1000 cuisines, the languages of 1000 places.
JUST COME OUT OF THE CURATED BULLSHIT AND EXPLORE THE WORLD. IT IS RIGHT HERE.
Just ask The Google for what you want and go from there. You never know what you’ll find. You might even begin to understand why we OG internet folks are sick of your shit… ;)