In the Face of Change

As someone who is getting AARP mail, I am loving the new Facebook changes. Not because they’re better; frankly I can’t really even tell the difference. I was already confused and regularly posting inappropriate things on people’s walls that I thought were secret. (I didn’t know “wall” meant big, brick wall outside the house next to the freeway. I thought it was an interior bedroom closet wall.)

I love the changes because all of my 20-something Facebook friends are freaking out, complaining about how inconvenient they are, threatening to quit (as if), claiming that they like Twitter and MySpace better anyway, and joining groups like I BET I CAN FIND 1 MILLION PEOPLE WHO CRY HOT ANGRY TEARS EVERY NIGHT INTO THEIR PILLOWS OVER THE NEW FACEBOOK.

Someone got so upset that they started an Internet rumor that Facebook was going to start charging a monthly fee. This was clearly a 20-year-old hoping to scare off the cheap old people who can still remember when we had to pay for Internet by the minute on dial-up.

The old people like myself are staying relatively quiet about the new Facebook. It’s true we have taken over what used to be a college-only networking site. Crawled up the side of that mountain and stuck a neatly pressed gingham and rick-rack flag in the top and claimed it as our own. Some might suggest that we’ve ruined it. But at least we’re adaptable enough to keep up with some minor revisions.

See, these changes are nothing compared to what we’ve had to deal with since we graduated from college. We had to learn how not to hit ‘return’ at the end of a line of typing. We had to learn not to indent paragraphs. We had to figure out how to fit a computer as big as a mini-frig onto a small desk we picked up at Walmart. We had to learn the hard way that is not where you can order your kids’ soccer shin guards. (I will never get off that mailing list. Never.) You don’t live through that without some scars and a Teflon coating.

We’re determined to keep up. Because Facebook isn’t the only thing that’s changing by the day. All the other networking sites started to try to Facebookize their sites. Linked In, which used to be all businesslike, now wants to know what I’m thinking. What are you, my eighth grade boyfriend? Just give me a job reference and shut up.

So we’re taking the changes in stride, waiting them out. Sometimes we old people feel like things are changing so fast, we’re like Zach Braff in Garden State, standing still, while the world whirls around us. When it stops, I hope I don’t look around and realize I’m in elder care. Or worse yet, kicked off Facebook.

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