It has only dawned on me in the last couple of weeks that nobody between the age of 5 and 35 uses email any more unless they absolutely have to because of work. Maybe you already know this, but it came as a revelation to me that young people would rather share a personal message and photos with as many strangers as possible, rather than just the one for whom it was intended. This must severely cramp their style when it comes to openness and honesty, otherwise they would find themselves losing the multitude of 'friends' that subscribe to their social networking site, and that would be absolutely unacceptable. I now sort of understand how a group of teenage girls can sit around, all talking at once to nobody in particular, because that is what they do online all the time anyway. The most frequent expression overheard is usually "OhMyGod!!!" (OMG).
My daughter (aged 38) asked me to join FaceBook a couple of years ago, and I asked why? She answered, "So that we can talk and I can send you pictures". I said that she could do that anyway using a tried and tested system called 'email', but that didn't seem to make sense to her, so I joined. About 3 days later, an Australian sado-masochist (complete with photo wearing a black-leather gimp-mask) who described himself as Amish and happened to have the same name as me, asked if he could be my 'friend'. Not wishing to seem prejudiced, I accepted him as my one and only 'friend', and started a polite conversation by asking him what being an Australian Amish involved, as I understood them as shunning all forms of modernity and riding around in horse-carts in Southern America - not posting pictures of themselves wearing gimp-masks on FaceBook. He replied by saying that of course he was not Amish, he just said he was. I could see that this friendship was going nowhere, so I deleted him from my list of friends, leaving myself friendless. Not even my daughter had responded to my request for her to be my friend, and it was her idea in the first place.
Now, judging from the frequency with which I post up blogs like this one, you might reasonably assume that I enjoy talking to myself, but this really isn't the case, so I deleted myself from FaceBook. At least I thought I did, but it seems that - like the Hotel California - you can check out, but you can never leave. Somewhere out there, there is a little, lonely version of me, awaiting a long overdue status upgrade.
Since my grand daughter would rather bite off her own fingers than invite me to be one of her friends on FaceBook, I think the only way that I am going to get that picture is to wait for her to come round with her laptop and email it to myself. How sad is that?