Celia Rivenbark’s weekend humor: social media and the old set

While I am very sympathetic to young people who say Instagram makes them feel bad about themselves because of body shame and taunts and bullying in general, I have yet to see even a paragraph on what it does for us seniors.

Where is your search for fancy pants on THAT, “Wall Street Journal”? Hmmm? Who creates endless charts and graphs and documentation of how WE are suffering?

We are also on Instagram, young people. But I’m sure you already know that. You ran away from Facebook when everyone’s mom found out and now we’ve followed you with a metaphorical dirty towel that we just found on your bedroom floor not just on Instagram but even… TikTok. Even Snapchat is not a safe space. We are there too. Don’t mess with us. We had a PARTY LINE when we were young. Which, now that I write it, sounds like something funny but it honestly wasn’t. We shared a phone line with three other families, including my teacher, who rudely interrupted my private call while I twisted the looped phone cord and went through the day with my best friend because we hadn’t seen each other for an hour. and a half. #stillrememberherphonenumber !!!

Do you mean trauma? How about passing notes? Sure, now kids just text their slurs and dramas during class, but back then, a pencil smackdown could be delivered via a sweaty folded note awkwardly passed from desk to desk. other.

Having said that, I think kids today have it worse because of the immediacy of social media platforms. You can’t do anything stupid, dangerous, or end your career without worrying about the wrong people seeing it. We were doing stupid stuff all the time, but there weren’t a dozen or more cellphones to capture the moment and download it for the world to see. It rather blows.

I understand we should crush social media for damaging the fragile psyche of teens (and younger ones!)

What am I talking about ? I do not know. I’m all excited about Miralax and the bone density drugs. Where was i?

OK, let’s start by sharing what it feels like when we see some wonderful photos from an Insta friend’s weekday dinner. No Old El Paso taco kit for her. Something involving poultry cooked in a clay pot with unpronounceable accompaniments is more like it. I should feel inspired, not diminished but …

I have come to dread his messages almost as much as that television commercial that begins with “Hi!” I’m JJ “Dy-no-mite” Walker here to tell you about a new insurance plan… ”The lush photographs of satiny soups (“ It’s fall, all of you! ”); craft cocktails that look worthy of a magazine shoot (“It only takes a minute to toast the basil for the perfect smoky garnish! (#seizetheday #imbetterthanyou #imeanobviously)… Although it might not be not as devastating as realizing you’ll never have Kylie Jenner, well, no matter what, it still leaves me with a feeling of inadequacy, laziness and, oddly enough, resentment for the basilisk.

In response to allegations of harm to teens, Instagram announced that it would delay Instagram’s planned rollout only to children 10 to 13 years old. Good idea. Because you know that an Instagram for babies and toddlers wouldn’t be far behind. Which begs the question, how too young is he to be an “influencer”? Do we really need babies to make this peace symbol upside down with their little fingers to indicate freshness? I do not think so.

In the meantime, I remain stunned by how much money young influencers with millions of subscribers “make” – six figures and up for doing nothing as close as you can imagine. Unless you think “the best duckface” is really one thing. Show me something that I can respect. Like Kylie changing a tire. That would be great.

Celia Rivenbark is a bestselling NYT writer and columnist. Write to him at [email protected]

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