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Grappling with the last of the non-Facebook generation

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You’ve heard of them, right?

You know, the people who don’t Facebook. Or Twitter, or anything else that can vaguely be called social networking.

These are people who don’t even understand the above sentence because they still live in the old world where Facebook is a noun and is known as a company that had a crappy initial public offering and whose CEO is best known for wearing sandals instead of shoes.  

Most of these people know Facebook only as this thing mentioned on traditional TV (traditional TV meaning something one watches according to times predesignated by companies called “networks.”)

Twitter, they do know, is more than the sound that a bird makes, thank you, because even if they’re not socially networking, they’re not idiots.

They understand that Twitter is something that has to do with thumbs and pictures of food and is generally engaged in whilst performing other activities, such as crossing a street or walking, or driving, or other unmentionable things. (If you’re the one who texts while in public toilets, please stop).

They also have other ideas that no amount of argument will change. These include thinking that Facebook is a colossal waste of time. Imagine! As if. They might argue that the two hours I spent complaining about Verizon changing its unlimited data policy and liking pictures of trees, kids, and other neato things instead of doing “real work”  was a waste of time.

They sometimes make this point while watching Judge Judy or talking on this thing called a telephone. (The device you use to tweet and Instagram also can be used to create person-to-person contact, via voice, in real time.)

They think irony is something reserved for literature in books, not on Reddit. If you answer a question by telling them “Honey Badger Don’t Care,” they will ask you how you know that it “don’t care” and then will correct your grammar.

They don’t care about things that we do, like the fact that @Horse_ebooks now is dead. They never cared that it was alive in the first place. They think SOPA just means soup in Spanish, and they couldn’t care less about the latest trending topic on Twitter. Oh wait, neither does anyone else.

But guess what they do care about?

All the random shit you learn on Facebook.

When you tell them about your friend who had twins, they ask, “When did she call and tell you that?” When you tell them about a giant sea monster that was found on a Spanish beach, they wonder how you knew. What? Hillary is running for president, they ask?  You tell them you know because you’ve already talked to her supporters, no matter that talking is writing and stuff.

If you’re nice you reveal the source of your information. “Facebook!” you tell them. “I learned it on Facebook.

And you take pity on them in that moment and say, here, I will show you.

But they’re already in another room doing something more important.

Janet Kornblum is a San Francisco-based writer and media trainer who spends only quality time on Facebook.

Illustration by Jason Reed