They say “profile picture” and “wall post” instead of draconian Myspace jargon, such as “default” and “comment.” They’ll have to tweet the pop-rock lyrics that describe their lives oh-so perfectly instead of meticulously fashioning them in their AIM profiles for optimal expression. They will never know the excitement of a notification when their high school crush signs on AIM because they’re texting instead. They won’t memorize HTML codes to customize their Myspace page because Facebook is all about sharing information, not creativity.
The next generation will miss out on the pioneering stages of social media.
Between ages 15 and 25 is what I consider to be the age bracket of those who will grow or have grown up using social media. They should be at least proficient in basic computer tasks and programs such as the Microsoft Office suite. Any younger and they probably don’t quite get it yet, and even just a few years older and they might need PowerPoint tutorials because they didn’t rely on it for oral presentations in school like many belonging to my generation did.
Social media is a cultural staple for my generation because we grew up with it and rely on it for communication. You’d better believe if I have kids that I will be a “Facebook Mom,” only not a Facebook Mom at all. My generation is already social media saavy and doesn’t need the 7 o’clock news to demonstrate new Facebook features. I’ll call the relevant site of the time by its real name, not “that MyFace,” as my mom says.
So, what will happen when posting status updates about parties the previous night are replaced with rants about morning coffee in the office? Will my generation abandon its online identities for “real world” responsibilites?
No. We’ll hopefully tweet less about celebrities and hopefully leave pictures posed in the mirror in 2004, but our online footprint is permanent. And we’re not going anywhere.