The other day I wrote a piece about social networks. My final thought was that we, the 30/40 somethings, have become the wrong age for social networks, or worse… the internet at large. We’re the generation that made the internet and are we the wrong age for it now?

It’s the classic mid-life crisis I guess. It happens to all generations. Parents in the 50s suddenly found their kids listening to something that rocked and rolled. They didn’t get it. They quickly realised they were too old for music, for modern life. The same could be said for my parents when the internet became a thing in the mid 90s. They were still getting to grips with computers and suddenly there was this internet you had to use a screaming box to access. Bleep bloop bleep… AHHHHHH AHHHHHH AHHHHHH AHHHHHH You’ve got mail. Spiffy.

Over the weekend I watched a video about Snapchat. I felt old. Real old. Snapchat, at its core, is a wonderful idea. You create, send and don’t worry. Why don’t you worry? Well Snapchat’s unique thing is that content is only alive for a very short time. Seconds in fact. There’s something beautiful about a content living for a fraction of a second. You don’t have to worry about it being around in 10 years time. You don’t have to carry that mistake for the rest of your life knowing its out there on the internet for all to see. I’ve got some real awful photos out there and somedays it does feel like I can never leave them behind.

So Snapchat’s thing is that content dies. It’s liberating. The interface is also very nicely done. Lots of modern gestures, swipes, no buttons etc. Only about 10 of my friends use it. Why so few? My theory is that its not for us. We’re old and Facebook is enough. The video I watched made this case very clear. It made a case for using Snapchat but also made me feel old and out of touch with modern technology. I think that’s a first.

The video is hard to watch. It’s overly bright. It’s a bit too 90s MTV. Needs more sarcasm 😉 It’s full of screaming teenagers too. But they all say that Facebook isn’t for them. The prefer this bright app that kills your content when you’ve seen it. Why? Old folk aren’t using it. No-one “Likes” your activity. After 10 seconds whatever you did is gone. It gives you freedom to express and be yourself like nothing else on the internet.

Final thought. Ignoring that I might be too old for Snapchat I gave it a try. There was some balloon festival going on with live content. I pressed on my iPhone’s display and a series of videos and images played. It was nice. It told a story using the new Snapchat Stories feature. I enjoyed it. Stories are the big new thing and Snapchat makes it a breeze to create and share them.