Updating your Facebook status
Facebook isn’t for posting – it’s for checking out your ex-schoolmates from aeons ago! The youth of today don’t tend to post their personal business all over Facebook, instead merely uploading a few selfies here and there. If you’re constantly posting your every thought, you may be showing your age.
Asking questions on social media
It’s a trait of the older crowd to ask questions on their socials, posting things like “How do I make a cabbage roll?” for all of their followers to see. Don’t ask your friends – use Google! The search engine has endless answers to endless questions, and are likely to be a darn sight better than the answers you receive from your friends and family.
Having a chat in the comments section
You log into Facebook and see that your niece has change her profile picture. A like, maybe a quick comment of “Looking good!” is acceptable. What isn’t acceptable, however, is leaving a long, drawn-out message, detailing your recent trip around Europe and asking after her family. If you want to type such messages – message the person directly instead of clogging up their comments.
An overuse of emojis
We all love a good emoji every now and then. But that’s as often as you should use them – now and then. An overuse of the yellow avatars can leave you looking out of touch, unprofessional, and on the older side of the scale. Save those laughing emojis for when you’re truly amused.
Uploading every photo from your day out
The younger generation tends to carefully cultivate their online persona, uploading heavily filtered, perfectly angled selfies. The older crowd, it seems, tends to upload anything and everything, dumping 157 blurry photos onto their Facebook feed from their one afternoon out at the mall. Choose the best pics and ditch the rest.
Constantly checking in
For some reason, a lot of boomers feel the need to constantly update their friends on where they are at all times. They go to the park? They’ll update their location. A trip to Walmart? You can bet that it’ll be uploaded to their news feed. And they say that it’s the youth of today that are glued to their phones…
An overuse of ellipses
It’s a rite of passage. When we hit a certain age, it seems that we begin to fill our sentences with unnecessary ellipses. Not only is it a waste of your time (it’s more buttons to press, after all!) but it also makes your message seem oddly foreboding.
Seniors and boomers just can’t seem to help themselves when they see something they disagree with on the internet. Rather than happily scrolling on by, getting on with their day, they usually turn into a keyboard warrior, wasting their time by arguing with strangers who live hundreds of miles away.
Technology can be scary – there are millions of apps, strange pop-ups, and something called FaceTime, which sounds suspiciously similar to Skype. What many seniors tend to do is immediately get overwhelmed and give up, passing their cells to their grandchildren to sort out. Give yourself some credit – you’ve dealt with far harder things than Facebook!
Using all caps
Writing every word in upper case doesn’t get your point across. In fact, it has the opposite effect, making your text harder to read. Only use capital words for emphasis sparingly, otherwise typing normally. If you’re engaged in a heated debate, avoid caps at all costs – it only makes you come across as hot-headed and temperamental.
Using too many exclamation points
It’s hard to pinpoint why an excess of exclamation points can correlate to an older person – but it’s just a fact of life. You rarely see a millennial type several punctuation points in order to emphasize their point, instead relying on their carefully crafted argument to drive their message home.
It may be time to retire the classic slang phrase “lol” – standing for laugh/laughing out loud. While it’s had a good run, it seems as though Gen Z refuse to use the term, instead creating their own new slew of slang. Continue to use “lol” if you wish, but just know it’ll be a dead giveaway of your age.
Falling for scams
The older you are, the more likely you are to fall victim to online scams. Accepting strange friend requests, opening suspicious attachments, and clicking on unusual links are all surefire ways to have your personal data – and even your money – snatched away from you. Use your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right, steer clear.
Sharing lots (and lots) of memes
There’s nothing wrong with sharing something that you find funny with your friends. What can age you up, however, is constantly sharing memes. Whether you’re filling your profile with the funny pics or sending them to your friends directly, an incessant meme addiction can be a key indicator of a boomer.
Trying to use slang
Slang is forever changing, fluctuating with the introduction of each new generation. Don’t try to seem as though you’re down with the cool kids, using phrases that your grandkids use with their peers – it’ll only give away your age. Leave phrases such as “no cap”, “deceased”, and “fam” for the Gen Zers.
Doing TikTok trends
If it brings you joy – keep on doing it! However, be aware that jumping on every TikTok trend, completing dances and posting reaction videos, can come across as being a little desperate. It could make you come across as someone who’s desperately trying to give off the impression that they’re still down with the kids.
Being chronically online
It’s a common misconception that it’s the youth of today who have a phone addiction. In fact, studies have shown that boomers tend to spend 27 hours per week online – two hours a week more than millennials. If you’re looking to hide your age, unplug from social media for a while, and go and spend some time with your pals outside of the digital realm.
Sharing Facebook’s privacy terms
Using outdated apps
Just like your appliances or your car, everything needs updating every now and then. If you’re finding that your phone isn’t working like it once used to, check to see if any of your apps (or your phone itself) need updating. Updating them can make everything work faster and smoother, getting you back online in no time.
Commenting or liking everything
You may think that liking every single post your loved ones upload is a positive thing. Unfortunately, it can be irritating for the other party, who’s constantly getting an influx of notifications. Furthermore, it shows that you’re always online, suggesting that you may need to take a brief break from your screen.
Older people are much likelier to fall for misinformation on the internet, taking everything they see at face value. Ensure that you check sources and do your research before sharing or repeating so-called “facts” you see on social media. Most of the things you read aren’t true, and usually have a hidden agenda.
Tagging everyone in everything
It’s tempting to tag all of your friends and family in every post you think they may like. However, doing so can result in a huge spam of notifications on their end, along with their own profile being chock-full of the posts. Try and only tag your pals in the best of the best posts, saving their phones from receiving constant alerts.
Posting cryptic statuses
A lot of older people tend to post odd, attention-seeking statuses. Posting things such as “Feeling sad today :(” or “Nobody is there for me” and then ignoring the influx of comments from pals that are checking on you is a surefire way to show your age. If you’re feeling blue, reach out to someone – don’t post a cryptic, futile status.
Failing to protect your data
Don’t be willing to give out your personal data willy-nilly. It can be your bank info, your address, or even your pet’s name. Many phishing scams post things on social media to purposely draw that information from you – asking questions like “Where did meet your husband?”. Whatever you do, don’t post the answer in the comments – it can be used to bypass your bank’s security questions.
Don’t go online and endlessly complain about anything and everything. Not only is it a futile affair, but it can bring all of your friends down, too, all while showing your age. If you need to have a good vent and get something off your chest, pick up your phone and give a close pal a ring. Otherwise, save your socials for fun-filled memes.
Still sending emails
If you’re looking to stay in touch with your friends and family, email probably isn’t the way to go. Nobody really uses it anymore – at least not to stay social. Sending your kids long-winded messages via email is unlikely to create a response. Instead, stay in touch via social media or by text messaging.
Believing fan pages are the actual person
It happens all too often – a fan page for a celebrity will post a photo, or maybe share some breaking news. You go to the comment section, only to see people sending well wishes or asking questions directly to the person in question. Don’t fall into this trap – use your critical thinking skills to determine who, exactly, you’re typing to.
Asking “who’s that?” when you see a funny meme
People over a certain age seem to have trouble discerning memes from reality. Just because your younger relative uploads a photo or a video, it doesn’t mean they know everyone involved. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as something funny being uploaded to the internet.
Not using anti-virus software
Don’t underestimate the importance of using anti-virus software. It’ll protect your devices from any harmful malware, along with keeping all of your personal data nice and secure. If you’re ensure about how to go about it, there’s no shame in asking a younger, more tech-savvy relative for their aid.
Talking to bots (and thinking they’re real people)
Just because someone directly messages you on social media, it doesn’t mean that they’re a legit person. There are many smart scammers out there who employ technology to impersonate other humans, luring you into a false sense of security. If you don’t know them – ignore them.
Playing Candy Crush
Look – there’s nothing wrong with playing Candy Crush, you’re allowed to enjoy whatever brings you joy. However, if you’re concerned about giving away your age, you may want to keep your favorite game on the down-low. Candy Crush is synonymous with soccer moms and bored seniors, with few youngsters downloading the puzzle game.
Falling victim to autocorrect
This isn’t age-specific, though it usually tends to effect the seniors the most. Autocorrect is a great tool, able to save us previous time when typing. Sometimes, however, it can have disastrous consequences, showing the importance of proofreading any messages before you hit send.
Commenting on the wrong post
Seniors tend to see the internet as being one fluid page that they can access from their desktop. If they see a post from their daughter, for example, but scroll past to a business listing, they believe that their comment will go wherever their mind desires. Take a second, and double-check exactly what you’re commenting on.
Just because you can type something, it doesn’t mean that you should. The millennials and Gen Zers tend to keep their personal business to themselves, only posting carefully selected thoughts or pictures. The older crowd, however, will overshare to no end – sometimes with nitty, gritty details.
Chatting with brands
Company pages on social media are usually run by an underpaid, undervalued intern. It can be easy to separate the corporation from the person behind the keyboard, but there’s a person typing on the other end nevertheless. A trait of the older generation tends to be conversing with these poor interns, filling their pages with unusual conversation.
Failing to properly screenshot
If there’s one thing you want to learn sooner rather than later, it’s how to screenshot. Failing to do so will result in useless pictures, filled with volume control symbols or crop marks. Worse still is if you then upload these dodgy screenshots to your social media channels, practically declaring to everyone that you don’t know your way around tech.
Using Facebook frames
If you’re looking to conceal your age, avoid using Facebook frames at all costs. Very, very few young people tend to use these garish displays, instead relying on subtle filters to impress their followers. An even bigger offence is if the frame isn’t edited properly, entirely ruining your brand-new profile picture.
Never closing your tabs
There’s no use keeping 100+ tabs open, then wondering why your device runs impossibly slow. It tends to be a habit of older people – some choosing to keep their tabs open for fear of losing a web page they once visited two months ago – with others simply forgetting (or not knowing how) to close them.
Using the first post you see to unload your thoughts isn’t a good look. Not only does it show your age, it also shows no consideration for the original poster, giving off the impression that your opinion is more valid than their thoughts. If you feel passionately about something, join a group to talk about it – sparing your friends from your constant opinions.
Just because you’re sat behind a keyboard, it doesn’t give you the right to be rude to people – even brands or celebrities. Spewing hate online is never okay, nor is being callous for no real reason. Try and act as you would in real life – with empathy, kindness, and compassion.