THE BLOG
10/28/2014 09:38 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2014

How Do You Introduce Dinosaurs to Social Media?

I have a couple of older friends (not much older than me) who send me news articles daily from various sources at various times during the day, you know, from The Huffington Post, New York Times, Daily Mail, etc. Are they tweeting me or Facebooking me? No, they are emailing me. And they do this because they insist they are not into social media, they don't find any redeeming value in social media and they find it all foolish. So their solution is to spread the news one email at a time. This to me is really a Flintstones way of social media sharing, but they don't realize it.

When I tell them they are actually tweeting, albeit one person at a time, isn't that what email is? They say, "No, we are sharing news with friends!" (Whether we want it or not.)

I'm trying to get these dinosaurs in to social media because I know they would enjoy it so much. Where else can you get so many sources of news at once? It behooves anyone with a business or news organization to share their news via social media but consuming news and getting it just as it happens is probably the best part. One friend insists that he read an article where the "fragmentation of news" via social media is killing the news media, but I find it to be the opposite. How could I possibly read all of these publications in one day if it were not for certain stories being shared throughout the day from hundreds of media outlets?

My friend -- I'll call him Harold -- says that the proper way to read the news is to hold the paper or magazine in your hand and read from page to page and to delightfully discover what's on the next page while getting your fingers dirty. I agree, but I get more news in a day via social media than I can possibly get from reading the actual publications from cover to cover simply because I don't have the time or access to all these publications daily. I find it totally infuriating that I cannot physically buy the New York Daily News in Miami -- I do want to read that cover to cover daily.

I keep telling my friends that they don't have to follow Iggy Azalea or Arianna Grande (they did ask, "who?") but you know what I'm trying to say. Why be stubborn and act like an old man just to prove a point? You have a computer, you have a cell phone, put them good use. One friend loves to go to book signings so he can meet the author and possibly engage with him, he doesn't realize he can do this daily on Twitter. Another likes to spread his old-fashioned politics which most of us promptly delete when it arrives, but his followers would probably eat it up and care about what he has to say.

I secretly think they fear being addicted like the rest of us when it comes to Facebook and Twitter and the rest, and maybe they are right, but to deny that they are physically going through the motions by emailing people news stories all day long (aggregating news), they are denying that they have joined the 21st century.

I don't use my cell phone in public unless it is essential, like I don't take phone calls at lunch and I don't tweet or Facebook -- unless it's for business, which a lot of the time it is since I cover the daily news in the Coconut Grove Grapevine. But they don't get it, they find it rude and I guess they will never get used to a whole restaurant full of people staring down at their screens.

Ironically, my friends will not see this story about them unless they're looking for it because they won't see me tweet or share it on Facebook, which of course I am going to do once it's published. I guess I'll have to email it to them, all 1990s style.