Everyone has those moments in life when a shift is felt so profoundly beneath their feet that it becomes clear in an instant that life as you know it will never quite be the same. For some, it could be getting married or the birth of their first child. For others, it might be moving to a new city or starting down an exciting, yet scary, career path. But for me, it was not knowing how Instagram works.
Like I said, everyone’s moments are different.
I started to realize that I’d gone ‘round the bend of hipness, coolness, or whatever new word kids these days have invented for being “in the know,” when my 13 year old cousin asked me last week what my Instagram name was.
Me: “Um…maybe Becky?”
Cousin: “It’s probably not just your name. You know, it’s the way people would find you on Instagram.”
Me: “I gotta’ be honest. I’m pretty sure I have an Instagram account, but I have no idea what my login or password is.”
Cousin: “Wait, but you post on Instagram?”
Me: “I’m not sure? Maybe? How would I know if I do or not?”
Cousin, liking me less and less as this conversation continued: “Well……I’m pretty sure you’d know.”
Me: “I sometimes use Instagram to take pictures…do those automatically get posted? And how would people see them, do I have to follow anyone to make that happen?”
Cousin, totally lying and walking out of the room: “Nevermind, I’ll just find you later….”
And then I felt like your 87 year old grandmother who needs you to explain how email works.
However, I let that go because of course I wouldn’t know what’s what among the 13 year olds and, quite frankly, sort of took pride in that. I’m a grown woman with a job and bills and no time to keep up on the latest social media craze.
Cut to: last night I was out to dinner with some friends and they started talking about some dog with no teeth they were following on Instagram.
Me: “Wait, this is a thing?”
Lisa: “Um, his name is ‘Toast Meets World’ and it’s basically the best thing in life.”
Me: “So it’s just a bunch of dog pictures or something?”
Jen: “How have you not heard of this?”
Me: “Wait, is this, like, something people do?
Lisa: “Don’t you follow stuff on Instagram?”
Me: “I don’t think so….wait, do I? I don’t know. I have an Instagram account but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with it. And this is the second time in a week this conversation has happened.”
Jen: “Do you follow people?”
Lisa, grabbing my phone: “Oh my god, you’re following 20 people and one of them is Tori Spelling.”
Me: “Yeah, that sounds right. Is 20 people a lot?”
Lisa, Jen, and Dana in unison: “No!”
Lisa, handing back my phone: “There. Now you’re following everyone at this table, plus Toast Meets World.”
Me: “I have no idea what to do with that information.”
Dana, taking my phone: “Becky, you have 76 requests for people who want to follow you.”
Me: “I do? That sounds like a lot!”
Dana: “It is…especially since you don’t know how to use Instagram.”
Me: “Yeah, I feel like they’ll be disappointed if I accept their request because it might just be an accidental shot of my shoulder that I took unknowingly when taking my phone out of my pocket or something.”
Me: “I’m exhausted. I can’t keep up with all of this stuff. It’s basically Facebook with just pictures, right?”
Caitlin: “Yes, grandma, it’s Facebook with just pictures.”
Me: “And a bunch of hashtags?”
Lisa: “Yes. Hashtag, you’re ridiculous and old.”
Me: “Hashtag true.”
Am I alone here? Is this something we’ve all been doing? #helpagirlout.