Facebooking Old Age: the Pictures Don't Lie.

It’s happened. I know it has. I’ve gotten old. And you know how I know this? Facebook told me. That fun friend who once told me when someone got too drunk or went to the Red Sox game or had beers with Kings of Leon has turned on me.

Facebook itself did not literally tell me this because Facebook is too busy literally telling me who I should care more about and what ads and products best suits me based on my Facebook-perceived interests. It was Facebook as a social vehicle and virtual photo album that told me I’m old and I’m not sure I can forgive it for that.

How did this happen?

The whole idea of Facebook (in my opinion) is to share what is going on in your life and to have the experiences and lives of your friends shared with you. Unless you’re a weirdo, your friends on Facebook are around the same age as you- co-workers and extended family members being the only logical exception to this because let’s be honest, a 35 year old dude shouldn’t be Facebook friends with a 16 year old girl he’s not related too. So you have all of these friends that are about your same age and because of Facebook and how it easy it is to get addicted to it, you are along for the ride as they go through life. You witness their highs, never hear about their lows (unless they’re one of those too much information status update people,) and react accordingly when they tell everyone that they met Bret Michaels at the mall this past weekend and have blurry phone pictures to back it up.

This is how I know that I’ve gotten older, because the general vibe of these updates has changed dramatically over the past two years. Status updates and pictures have changed. Boozy pictures and absurd status updates have fallen by the wayside and been replaced by a Facebook that if it was a real person, would start to have some gray hairs and goes to pumpkin patches on the weekend. Wait, I went to a pumpkin patch last weekend. See! I’m old!

There are four major indicators that through Facebook make me realize that I’ve gotten older.

Indicator 1: Baby Pictures. You know you’ve gotten older when the majority of pictures you see posted by your friends are of babies. Long gone are the pictures of drunken shenanigans and reckless activities. These have been replaced by admittedly cute pictures of babies crawling, babies playing in leaves, babies on the beach, babies eating, babies with their dads watching sports and many more.

Indicator 2: Kid Pictures. This is an extension of Indicator 2 and if anything, shows that you might be even older than you originally thought.

Indicator 3: House Pictures. I’ve quickly learned that there is one thing more than any other that makes me acknowledge that I’m sick of living in an apartment in the city…and no, it’s not circling around for forty-five minutes looking for parking. No sir, it is pictures of people’s houses. When I see someone post a series of pictures under a title like “Our First House!” or “My New House!” it is fast track expressway to I Want That-ville. And let’s be honest, nothing says getting older like house-envy.

Indicator 4: Work Pictures. Does someone wear a tie a lot to work? Is someone posting pictures of them receiving awards? If the answer is yes to these questions then you have to know that things have changed. Serious work pictures have replaced good times at work pictures and that my friend equals maturity and maturity equals getting older. It’s simple math.

Think about these indicators and apply them to your experience with Facebook. You’ll see what I’m talking about and either realize that you’re still a free-wheeling youngster with your whole life ahead of you or you’ve moved on in years and your only connection to your college years are the monthly student loan bills that come in the mail.

Growing older isn’t a bad thing and even if it was, it’s unavoidable so there is no sense complaining. What is a bad thing is being reminded about it several times a day when you are procrastinating at work and scrolling up and down the news feed of Facebook. I can’t fault people for posting pictures of their baby or their new house- I would too and will when it happens. I guess I just wish there was a way to separate these fine folks and put them into their own separate news feed. That way, if I want to experience the pangs of envy or the twinges of impending old age, I can do so on my volition.

Come to think of it, there is another way that I’ve learned that I’m old…complaining about Facebook.

Well, it’s almost 5pm. Time to go to dinner.

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