Indiana Dad Can’t Wrap His Mind Around the Popularity of Instagram and Facebook Stories
I like to think that despite being 45-years-old and a dad to a 17 and 15-year-old, I have a pretty good grip on what's considered cool or "in" these days. But, every once in a while something gets popular and I guess my age starts to show because I just can't wrap my mind around why it's a thing. One of which is the "Story" feature on Instagram and Facebook.
I know both have been around for a few years and were basically created to compete with Snapchat (apparently it worked, I couldn't tell you the last time I heard someone say they posted something on Snapchat). I also know the idea is to allow users to share pictures or videos of whatever that disappear 24 hours after they've been posted. Every once in a while, I'll get a wild hair to post something to my story, so I get the concept, I just don't see the point.
I think a big part of the reason behind my confusion is based on what I see people post. I see a lot of laying on the couch watching TV, the food you're getting ready to eat, a meme you find funny, or sometimes just a text with some random thought you have. Mundane, everyday things we all do, that I don't care about.
To me, if you're going to call something a "story" it should have a beginning, middle, and an end. Most of what I see is just a bunch of random things all smashed together like when a child smooshes all their Play-Doh together. What was once a variety of appealing colors, has been reduced to an unappealing greyish blob no one wants. Nearly everything I see posted to the stories by people I'm friends with on both Instagram and Facebook could be individual posts that show up in my feeds.
Maybe It's Me
I'm not so out of touch that I don't realize this is probably coming off like a long, typed-out version of the "Old Man Yells at Cloud" meme, but I stand by my opinion. Maybe it's just a difference in the way we choose to use social media. Where I prefer to only post when I have something I think is funny or entertaining, because my everyday life is pretty boring (wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat), everyone else seems to want to post every waking moment of their day or every thought that enters their head. Maybe they're trying to be relatable by showing they don't have anything special going on in their lives either. Thanks, but I don't need the reminder that my life isn't all that exciting (which I'm totally cool with, and prefer, by the way).
I imagine someone much younger than me will stumble upon this article one day, share it on one of their social media accounts with a long rant about me being a Boomer, and how we think the rest of the world is obligated to entertain us. All their like-minded friends will react to it with a like or a heart, which will make them feel good, and give them the sense they "owned" me. If that's you, fine. But, you should know I am not a Boomer. I am Gen-X. That means there are only a few things I care about. Your opinion of me is not one of them.
The Morale of the "Story"
At the end of the day, the beautiful thing about this is that we can both share our opinion on this subject even if they are completely different from one another because this is the internet and that's what everyone does. No harm, no foul. You can think I'm just a cranky old man who punctures the neighborhood kids' basketball when it ends up in my yard, and I can think the story you share on Instagram or Facebook is boring and sucks. Neither of us is right and neither of us is wrong. It's just a difference in opinion and that's OK. I don't expect you to see it my way, as long as you don't expect me to watch your crappy story.