Social Networking and Ageism
In the midst of planning a wedding, saving money, writing fiction and working erratic hours, blogging is a treat. I am in my mid-20s, I do not consider myself old, and I love Tumblr and Twitter. There is an amazing communal feeling and I am able to share my writing, rants and quirks with similar-minded individuals.
I use Tumblr for fun, while I also have a separate ‘writing-specific’ account, where I share my published pieces, find inspiration to continue writing and give my followers a taste of my fiction. I do not have a huge following, but I am thankful for the people who follow my journey as a writer.
Recently, a blogger of a quite popular Tumblr blog, revealed the amount of online hate she was receiving due to her age. As far as I know she is in her 20s or 30s and her blog posts are images which are beyond impressive and take a lot of time and effort to perfect. She is clearly a woman who is passionate about what she does online and hence has built a following. My question is, is there ageism online?
Is there a point where we are expected to log off and log off for good and disappear in the haze of busy adulthood, in which blogging or tweeting is juvenile? Are there specific expectations of social networking users of a certain age? Are you expected to be doing better things, or should I say more practical things when you reach a certain age and still continuously blog?
We change; we grow and move on from one thing to another. We said farewell to MySpace and MSN Messenger and now we are on bigger and allegedly better networking programs. However, is there a point where whining on Twitter, updating your Facebook with dozens of photos of your cat – or worst of all, of your drunken nights out – becomes ‘uncool’ for someone your age?
Do we have an expiration date when it comes to networking? If we do, what happens when we pass that expiration date? Will be become that annoying relative who likes every single one of your photos or that one person who never quite understood social networking etiquette and vents their entire neuroses? I hope not. Social networking, while it is predominantly used my teens and people in their early 20s, needs to remember the generation who invented social networking and the generations before them.
Social networking should be a platform where generations learn from each other instead of judge one another. I will never use ‘cray-cray’ or listen to Taylor Swift or embody a ‘woman-child’, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from the generation of digital natives.
While I some time have to quickly scroll down sickeningly sweet teen posts on tumblr or whiny statuses about exams and finals and feel old in the process, I remind myself that I am a rad writer and someone who people should want to revere, instead of a creepy old-timer.
Image via solidgoldcreativity.com