I pride myself on being technologically savvy, up to date, and cool (the urban dictionary actually endorses this word because it is very “conveniant” [sic]). I wonder if [sic] is outdated?
So why is it so difficult for me to communicate (translated “stay out of hot water”) with millennials?
This is not a complaint (remember the ground rules set yesterday?). Rather, it is an observation. There are all these new social rules and someone seriously needs to write a book or start a blog on intergenerational communication in 2018. Here is what I have learned so far …
Apparently, I have a RBF. When I googled it, I found out it meant that person thinks I have a resting b*#ch face. I was crushed, whisked back to that elementary school playground. No matter how many times they assured me it wasn’t a bad thing… I mean, can you imagine telling your parent, grandparent, boss that they have an RBF? But it isn’t a negative thing.. LOL, but not ROFL because that’s just done, outdated, or not popular on vine.
Some time ago, I learned that not responding to a PM or text is one of several communication cardinal sins. Apparently, millennials will pardon our less-than-instant response, but we must respond within a few hours. I also learned that there should be a definitive end to the conversation. For example, “Are you coming over for dinner?” “Yes”. Is a no go. This example breaks two rules. First, there is no closure to this conversation. Second, thou shalt not respond in short sentences! I never knew this, but you are obviously angry or upset with someone if you make short responses. Huh. So much for brevity or not having much to say for no particular reason. So, I find myself adding words simply to avoid the appearance that I am upset. Sometimes, I cheat. I use a chain of GIFs to convey my feelings. (A very valuable lesson here—never send a GIF that contains anything you do not know or understand!)
I have also learned that grandparents must monitor all social media if they hope to be kept in the loop on grandbaby’s progress. The emphasis is on ALL social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are not enough! Can you guess which app I forgot? (And save us all the embarrassment, MySpace is for dinosaurs). So no more special or private revelations—everyone learns together.
So, the very thing that keeps me in touch with my loved ones, friends old and new, and even some people I don’t even know, is bittersweet. I can see and talk with my grandchildren that live far away. I do not have to worry at all about the cost, no minutes, long distance, or data limits. We can communicate freely and often with no restrictions. But with change must come some learning and adaptation. So please be patient out there, give each other the benefit of the doubt. Trust that all parties are doing their best. And please, please could someone create a cheat sheet PDQ?