Social media is here to stay

Humor column
By: By Tony Overbay Special to The News Messenger
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“It’s Girl Scout cookie time.”

This post was on the Facebook page for my neighborhood.

My response was simple: “This is the single greatest reason for the invention of social media.”

Later that afternoon, I had a super-cute, tiny little girl all decked out in Girl Scout garb taking my order for six boxes of Thin Mints.

And that’s just my order from the first Girl Scout to knock on my door.

Two years ago, I was forgotten, and I suffered. With no Thin Mints, I quickly spiraled into a funk and never quite got out if it.

I’ve been told the cookies freeze well, so this year, I’ll stock up. Thank you, social media; this is truly what you were designed for.

Love it or hate it I think this whole social media “fad” as my wife likes to call it, isn’t going anywhere. To be fair, she still refers to computers and cell phones as fads, too.

Blink your eyes and you’ve most likely missed the latest social media offering, be it Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flikr or Pinterest.

Do you know of Pinterest? I see messages on Facebook, often from people saying that they’re addicted to it, three of my daughters included. I’ve tried my best to understand Pinterest, but to the best of my knowledge, it has something to do with looking at a lot of pictures of cats and dogs taking naps together as well as cookie recipes that involve far too much work to make them look like a ladybug or a clown.

And, with that last sentence, I sound old. Hold on, before I continue because I need to yell at a couple of kids to get off my lawn! I know I’m getting old. My once-monthly routine of trimming my ear and nose hair has moved to weekly, and, over the past year, I’ve finally become the guy that has to hold things just a little further away from my eyes than before just so I can see the exact ingredients in a Twinkie.

But I always thought I’d be able to keep up with everything from music, to TV to technology. In the span of the last year or two, my kids now buy music because they’re tired of me trying to convince them that U2 is still relevant. I’ve never seen a show about the Kardashians, and just last week, I pretended for 10 minutes to know what Ooma is (hint, it’s not a German word for a grandma). And if you think Roku is a character for the last Pixar movie, you better go look that one up, too.

Personally, I slept through MySpace and was somewhat forced onto Facebook thanks to my

20-year high school reunion almost five years ago.

   Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying to truly embrace it. From time to time, I’ll post a witty comment or two, and every few weeks, I’ll get on a kick and “like” a bunch of stuff, but overall, I tend to over-think it. What if I “like” that somebody recommended a controversial restaurant but I didn’t “like” that somebody was sick. But wait! You shouldn’t “like” that they’re sick to begin with, right? There should be a “Man, that stinks” button.

I meet with clients regularly who are either in a good mood because, “I had 21 ‘likes’ for my Facebook status about it being cold this morning!” Or they are in a bad mood because “nobody ‘liked’ that I posted there were only three days left before the weekend!”

I’ll be the first to admit that, as much as I tell them, “there could be a lot of factors as to why people aren’t liking your posts,” I may or may not have hit refresh on a post I made recently about my son’s particular basketball prowess about a hundred times checking to see how many others “liked” it!

All sorts of apps within Facebook track birthdays, your score on Farmville and how many times you’ve been “poked” (don’t ask) but there needs to be a “self-esteem” app that will come in behind a post you make and “like” it no less than a dozen times. I “like” that idea!

I definitely feel like this is a case where this semi-technologically savvy writer is indeed in danger of being left behind. I’ve had the good fortune of being sponsored by Brooks running shoes for the past six years. Previously, to keep my sponsorship intact, I simply needed to run a lot and wear my shoes.

My contract this year states that it’s the year of social media! I am to post, tweet, Flickr, Instagram and probably even Pinterest a picture of me taking a nap with a cat and a dog in my Brooks!

And as much as I like to joke about some of the things people post (true story, a client discovered that her husband was leaving her by his changing his relationship status on Facebook from “married” to “single”), I truly do get it.

We all have a certain innate need to be a part of something, whether it is a family, or a club, a community, a church or a neighborhood or just to hang out at HomeSpun. And social media done right can really connect people.

I have used the “Good Neighbors of Lincoln” Facebook page to find an auto mechanic, a vet and to get restaurant reviews.

And I’ll be on there posting away in just a week or two to get residents excited about the upcoming third annual GEMS (Glen Edwards Middle School) 5k and my 24-hour track trek.

And yes, I hope that you’ll “like” that.

In the meantime, does anybody actually have a cookie recipe that makes a nice chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a running shoe? If not, I’ll just stick with my Thin Mints.