So help me, if I see one more Instagram photo of a grown woman sporting a “duck face” pout and a crown of laurels resting on her cartoon dog ears …
Nah, I’m just getting started.
Here’s the deal, people. I’m 40 years old, and I have friends in their 20s. If you’re in your 20s, you can pretty much do whatever you want on your social media page. You’re young, you’re skinny and you know how to use all those filters to make your perfect skin look even perfect-er. Go for it. Now is your time to shine.
But there will come a time when you have wrinkles on your forehead and have to buy those size 12 jeans – OK, fine, 14 – and a night on the sofa binge watching “This is Us” sounds a heck of a lot better than a night at the bar binge drinking Bud Light longnecks.
And let me tell you, young people, maturity is glorious. You feel smarter, sharper and more engaged. Stimulating conversation makes you happy. Your friendships matter. You get involved in church and charity work. You get up before 10 a.m. on Saturdays because you want to. You read books and watch documentaries, and you actually enjoy them.
Most people my age forget that they’re no longer in their prime. I forget my millennial friends don’t understand my references to 1980s Janet Jackson songs and cassette tapes and Blockbuster video stores. I still think that I’m young, even though I’m really not. But I can tell you that you will not likely ever see me on social media with cartoon dog ears in a bikini, hula hooping with a margarita in one hand.
When I see memes and tirades with a barrage of curse words on someone’s Facebook page, my immediate assessment is, “They must not have a mother” because I can promise you that Becky Towery would have that crap deleted and blocked and would be assembling a prayer circle faster than you can say hashtag.
At some point we have to grow up, at least when it comes to social media. What you do in the privacy of your own home, that’s your jam. What you do online is everybody’s business and it never really goes away.
The bedazzled jeans may have to go to Goodwill. The crop tops definitely need to go to Goodwill, or better yet, the garbage can. The use of “LOL” should be used sparingly, if at all. For example, a text that says “My gas tank is on empty and I’m already 20 minutes late to your grandmother’s funeral lol” is not acceptable. Is that reeeeally funny? Are you reeeeally laughing out loud about that?
I’ve most certainly made some bad judgment calls in the past, and I will certainly do so again in the future. I hope to learn from those mistakes and to not pretend to be a teenager as I edge my way into middle age.
This isn’t a diatribe on how we should be better role models for the younger generation (although we should). It’s just some notes on how we preach on the sisterhood and building each other up and encouraging each other and running marathons and writing novels and finishing that degree – and then we set our gender back 100 years when we post pics with cartoon dog ears.
Let’s break the cycle, ladies.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.