The teenagers always tell me that no one under forty is on facebook, as part of their relentless effort to make me feel older and older.
Three weeks ago whilst noticing sixteen year old daughter Jordan taking selfies of her own face as she put on odd expressions I came to understand that she was on Snapchat where she would send silly pictures of herself, sometimes using filters to her friends and they would respond with similar silly pictures with the occasional chat message. Jordan then set me up on Snapchat, since it would seem I was the only one in the family not on that social media.
Since an avatar was required she chose one of the few available for anyone over 40. My avatar is of a balding, bespectacled white haired old man. No one apparently is using anything like it.
But that avatar seems to be a major factor in my experience on Snapchat. Almost from the moment of starting the account, I was inundated with hundreds of friend requests. I decided that I would accept all the friend requests in addition to friending my children. The friend requests continue daily so that I estimate I now have 3000 to 4000 Snapchat friends.
I asked my children if their experience was the same. It was not. They seldom get a friend request. Why me? I ask. It would seem that the answer would appear to be that with the avatar of a desperate looking old man I have become a target for everyone who thinks that I want to buy explicit photos or videos of them, meet up with them, or learn to buy bitcoin. The vast majority of my “friends “” would appear to be computer generated because they chat with me immediately upon my accepting their friend requests. Yes, computerized robots. I am a bot magnet.
Some of my new “friends” send me unsolicited photos very ofter disguised as texts. Some of the photos are quite explicit. Sadly, perhaps because of my age, I can’t even identify what some of the photos of female body parts are.
When I got my first barrage of contacts, my inclination was to leave Snapchat immediately . But then quite honestly my early experiences with Snapchat was such that I thought if it’s this bad, why are my children on it? And yet i have confirmed that my experience has not been their experience
Out of curiosity I then opened a WhatsApp account which seems actually to be a very efficient way to communicate with people throughout the world at no cost.
Although I aspire to be a happening dude, perhaps snapchat is not for me. I plan on canceling the account in the next day or two probably causing massive unemployment amongst bots. I guess I will content myself with geriatric Facebook. Alas. I am not meant to be amongst the young.
The world seems to be moving too fast for me. I am thankful that I am still hanging on. Have a great Thanksgiving.
Posts copied from FaceBook.