Very often my posts are precipitated by something in the news or an issue my friends and I are having in the sandwich that we call our lives. Sometimes they are very personal and very often, I pontificate about how smart we are, now that our experience has outlived our hair color.
Today I read a very brief article about Baby Boomers and hashtags. Frankly the article was insignificant and the research it was based on was thin and not terribly insightful. The interesting part was the snark and animosity thrown about by the Boomer commenters. I was shocked at the vitriol that surrounded a seemingly benign topic like hashtags. So from now on the whole lot of us should just go by #oldfogie.
According to Urban Dictionary:
A fogie is an elderly person who constantly finds fault with everything and reminisces back to better times. Spends many hours a day waiting for buses because their children refuse to listen to them while driving. Usually working class and annoying to most. Most people will just attempt to ignore them rather than tell them to be quiet.
Now I know, we were raised with manual typewriters, rotary dial phones, vinyl and rabbit ears, but lord these folks were bitter about hashtags. I was confused by hashtags at first, and honestly, I don’t much like them now. I get why we use them and some of them are funny especially when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake sing about them. But to be so bitter and condescending and to spew such animosity over them is mind boggling.
The comments went something like this:
● I’m a Boomer. I know what a hash tag is. But I also know something else. At some point in life, certain things become far more important than hash tags, and you find yourself spending more of your time on those things.
● A very juvenile study accompanied by an equally juvenile tone in the article. I enjoyed this as much as I would if this were an article from a Boomer on how Millennials don’t know what a colonoscopy feels like.
● This study and article is like watching two frat brothers sit in the back of the room snickering because no one on campus knows the secret frat handshake but them. I’m moving on.
● Hastags are kinda like hash marks, aren’t they? At least to me, since I don’t spend my day with my nose buried in a smart phone and couldn’t give a rat’s a** about trending. I don’t have time to tweet tweet twiddle-ee-deet all day long about inconsequential gossip or cat crap. The only valuable uses I’ve found for Twitter are crisis communications, utility outage restoration status or disaster communications. Tweet tweet!
● I know what a hashtag is and still, I don’t care. My life feels so empty! Boo-hoo! How will I ever learn about anything?
● I will consider the use of “hashtags” as ‘n when the younger set learn to use punctuation…..read…capital letters, full stops and commas…..now there’s a challenge !*
So here are my issues:
1. We sound just like our parents (OMG!!!)
2. We get accused of being technologically stunted because of this type of commentary and we deserve it
3. We speak with such superiority about grammar and punctuation and we forget that language is living or we would all be speaking in “thees and thous” still
4. This is exactly what people said about: the lightbulb, the car, the telephone, the tv, etc.
We are total old fogies. I chose the term old fogie because that’s what we called our parents who couldn’t stand our music, didn’t understand the way we dressed or talked. The same way they looked at us the first time we played Pong, begged for a Walkman, or programmed the VCR. I still remember the first time I tried to use a mouse and it totally freaked me out. I was calmed only by the cute little face on MacIntosh II when I logged in. That was only 1987 for crying out loud and I was 24!
The difference between us and the current day 24 year old is that no technology scares them; they were born with mice in their hands and Blueteeth. They embrace everything new with aplomb and can run circles around us with what they’ve built. When we were that age there were maybe a handful of millionaires but no ba-zillionaires like there are now.
We’re jealous and bitter and old. Believe me, as an ex-English teacher I miss grammar and punctuation just like the next fogie, but we’ve got to lighten up on these folks or they’re going to leave us at the hovercraft station!
#oldfogie, #dontbebitter, #hahablueteeth, #grammarisold, #hovercraftstation, #walkman, #theesandthous
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You can reach Deborah via email: Deborah.Fisher@ResponseMine.com