Advice to those of us attempting to communicate with numbers of people proliferates in ways and complexity. No more is it enough to be on FaceBook. If you’re hustling a business, a service, art, writing, home services, whatever, you’re expected to add in Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn? If you’re focusing on friends and family, everyone’s favorite probably isn’t on your list, so they miss your important news about the new baby and moves.
My first question: why do all these new services ignore rules of grammar and insist on weird spellings and punctuation? Are they simply trying to confuse the computer-illiterate even more than they are already? If you’re computer-challenged, you probably are in an older age range. Studies say although only about 40% of people over 65 use social media, a mind-blowing 90% of people 18-29 years do.
I’m currently struggling with Instagram. Information from my contacts say that this is the method to reach younger (meaning under 40) folks. Like Facebook and Amazon, Instagram uses algorithms to decide what you see and what others see. I never understood algorithms in high school, and I managed to avoid math in college since I was into classes that used words, so I probably won’t catch up now.
When I first attempted to jump into the Instagram world or drown, I was struck by the contents, full of fakeness, brags, and self-importance. Really?! Does anyone care what you ate for dinner? Evidently they do, because Instagram is packed full of just that. It’s supposed to be easy to use. One critique I read said “Instagram is designed for four-year-olds, by eight-year-olds.” Others pointed out it’s mostly for social girls and young women. Since that’s the group I’m trying to reach with my writing, I plowed on.
My local library offers free, one-hour technical tutoring, so I signed up. The librarian gave me lots of practical advice I could apply easily. However, I probably should have asked for ten, one-hour sessions because my reign as Instagram Queen still hasn’t begun. I’m inundated with images and messages, most of which I can’t fathom. How do I control this deluge?
My granddaughter, who’s helping me swim along in the flood, called me in horror shortly after. “Are you checking your Instagram messages?” I didn’t know I had Instagram messages. Evidently, some strange messages are coming my way. She warned I should be just as cautious in my information and my contacts on Instagram as I am with spam hitting my email.
One step at a time. I’ll try to find my messages today. If you’d like to keep an eye on my Instagram journey, find me at https://www.instagram.com/authorbonniemccune/. You can even follow me. Just don’t expect me to follow you back.