Young on the outside, old on the inside (and uncool all-round)

Posted in: Thoughts

My perceived age seems to be a running theme on my blog as the running-into and meeting several new people thanks to dance classes has my age coming into question time and time again. What about how old I am on the inside then? Well, according to a study that has recently come out about social media amongst young adults (which has been getting referenced a lot this past week from the sites and blogs I follow) I'm likely to be 30 or older.

According to the study, blogging amongst teens and young adults declined since 2007 (went up with the 30+ crowd over the same period) who have exchanged "macro-blogging" for micro-blogging with status updates. It's more likely the status updates are just confined to their online profiles on sites like Facebook, as the study also showed that a majority of young adults have a Facebook profile, but not a Twitter account.

So blogging and Twitter are both uncool and for the old folk. *sigh* Can't catch a break can I? And all of this on the back of a dream I had a few nights ago where I was getting gray hairs O_o

I guess being told you're old on the inside isn't as bad as being mistaken for young on the outside. It carries with it a lot of the better connotations associated with age, like wisdom and responsibility, and it kinda makes me feel good about myself, much like that feeling you get when you did reading tests at primary school and were told by your teacher you had a reading age beyond your years. Pride, I think it is - the sense of achievement kind, not the self-important seven-deadly-sins kind.

Gold Star

Back to the study, it's probably just showing the trends of today: Facebook is an easy way to share certain content with your friends, and status updates are an easy way to do what blogging does but with less characters; say what's on your mind to those who are willing to read/listen.

When I started this website in 2001, I was just following the trends of those days which was to get your own Geocities (or equivalent free-hosting) page and add whatever spastic animated image or annoying follow-your-mouse-cursor JavaScript to the site. The blog was the natural extension of the personal website and so that was added quite soon afterwards, although I didn't start calling it a blog or blogging until late 2005.

Little did we know that maintaining the thing takes actual effort, and so came the decline of the personal website / blog, paving the way for the multitude of social networks, each with their own little way of doing relatively effortless things like uploading photos from that drunken 21st, or telling your friends about what food you're ingesting AT THIS VERY INSTANT.

If the long-term trend though is to replace effort-requiring things with effort-less things, then I wonder what will be superseding the Facebooks and Twitters of today? It's bad enough that today's kids have forgotten what punctuation is for in their goal to say as much as they can with as few characters as possible.

What are we going to forget next? The ability to act appropriately in social situations because everything is done with non-face-to-face communication methods?

Oh wait...