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The Elderly Are Coming, and They Don’t Know How to Facebook

Updated February 12, 2015

In the good old days, Facebook was a place for the youngsters. But now the elderly are coming: they love the good old days, and since everyone’s talking about this Facebook thing, they want to get in on the action too. Us young(ish) whippersnappers took to it with very few hiccups: the Internet wasn’t new to us and Facebook-ing isn’t exactly a demanding skill. But as the subreddit OldPeopleFacebook is in the process of meticulously documenting for us all to enjoy, many older folk aren’t quite as Internet-savvy.

Facebook is clearly an overwhelming place if you didn’t grow up with the Internet, but not many features give old people as much trouble as tagging. Among the most common consequences is grandma or grandpa accidentally tagging themselves as rapper Grandmaster Flash:

This happens a lot. It’s not just Grandmaster Flash that gets the attention either, thanks to an old lady with a dog called Blaze:

The issues are far from limited to tagging, though, as this post directed at Ibuprofen manufacturer Advil demonstrates in probably the most bizarre way possible:

Yeah, Advil! What do you know about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight!?

Another law of Facebook for old people is that companies really need to know if anybody’s pet dies:

And that some information is just too important to leave unshared:

I really feel bad for the people who work on Walmart’s social media account – the politeness is excruciating:

How not to Google something (especially if you have grandchildren on your Facebook):

The Google Search Engine page also causes some confusion:

Occasionally, the “type the thing you want into Facebook” strategy pays off, because the people who work on Walmart’s social media pages clearly go through a full day of training on how to effectively communicate with bewildered old people:

A lot of the time, it isn’t just posts directed at the wrong people or tagging errors, even basic Facebook-ing can be a challenge: Linda just wants to get in on the fun, but how can she signify that she “Likes” something?

James just wants to respond to the person asking him “What’s on your mind?”

And apparently, some old people really struggle with when it’s OK and when it’s not OK to paste the text from a recipe they found online:

In the interest of fairness, not all old people struggle to Facebook. However, the unflinchingly blunt honesty might not always go down too well:

And they don’t always have the best ideas for Facebook pages:

But we love them anyway, because deep down, we know they’re trying to be nice:

Or to cheer us up:

So we shouldn’t mock – if anything, we should club together as a society and help them learn to Facebook better. Otherwise, one day, you’ll have to come up with a way to respond to a brain-meltingly confusing comment like this:

If for nobody else, we should do it for the sake of Grandmaster Flash’s Facebook page:

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