Patty-Jean sits just inches away from her computer monitor for hours. Every new click is like a revelation to her. Her kids and grandchildren may be scattered throughout the country but thanks to “The Facebook” (as she calls it) this 82 year old’s nest is anything but empty.
For years I’ve lived my cyber life freely. It was a one stop shop to connect with friends. With just a click all my school chums could get a glimpse of my latest shenanigans, until now. Now my eternally loving and devoted grandmother spends hours combing through my Facebook which has now become the running joke amongst my friends. They look forward to seeing how Patty chimes in. She has inadvertently become a grade A internet troll by doing the following:
I bet you think you know were this is going…you open up your Facebook and suddenly you have 20 notifications that your Grandma “liked your picture”. But Patty does not understand the “Like” button. In fact, I’m not so sure she even knows it exists. Instead of a simple click, my dear grandmother goes through every single picture and types “like” in the comment box…that’s it…not “I like this picture”; simply “like” as if that’s how the function works. You can’t help but be amazed at just how many pictures she writes “like” on considering that her shaky little grandma fingers type every single letter one by one at sluggish pace.
The Public- Private message:
Whenever I see my grandmother has left a comment on my wall my heart drops and I rush to makes sure that it belongs in the public eye. You see, Patty doesn’t understand the difference between a private message and a wall-post. It is not unlikely for me to receive an endearing, but often times revealing letter from my grandmother that is meant to be a private message. One time she went on a tirade about her contempt for my cousin the “floosy” without knowing that she could read it all ….whoops.
Confusing the status bar for google:
Imagine scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing that your grandmother’s status reads “panties”. Well, I think anyone’s first reaction would be to call your grandma and figure out why it appears that she’s got women’s underwear on her mind. She wanted to know if she could order underwear online, however she thought that google and the Facebook status bar are one and the same…she may not be right but she also isn’t exactly wrong (but that’s another post)
Alright, so let’s say that I decide to enjoy a cold beer at a tailgate party when someone snaps a picture and posts it on the spot. Within seconds, Patty has commented on the photo and it’s not “like” I will get a stern talking to about how I am acting like a degenerate and how, “Grandpa would still be around” if he would have stopped that “nonsense”…way to ruin the tailgate party Grams . There’s also the unabashed criticism of anyone that I appear to “cozy up” to. Let’s say I post a picture of me and a respectable young lady I’ve just started seeing and Patty’s response is to urge you to get in touch with your ex because she was prettier. True story, she is a real game killer.
Now while these all sound horrific, there is actually a real advantage to Cyber-Grandmas if you’re a company, and here’s why:
• They’re Vocal – Oh you’re having a sale? Best believe that my grandmother will ring up every single one of her kids to alert them about it. They want what’s best for their family and if you’ve convinced them your business is “what’s best” then you just earned yourself a viral promoter.
• They’re not afraid to engage – So your cashier looked depressed? Or you should bring back your seasonal clam chowder? Patty will tell you. This is great because honestly they know you’re listening and have every intent to right what’s wrong with your business. So whether your staff could manage to smile more or your menu is getting boring, grandma will tell you, and you may want to listen.
• They’re Curious – Cyber-Grandmas are curious about the latest trends. This isn’t an identity crisis, it just makes sense, how else would she know what to get her grandchildren for Christmas. “What’s a Starbucks? My grandson likes their page” BAM you just sold a $100 gift card.
So while we tend to laugh off the adorable cyber antics of our grandparents, they are actually a really valuable fan base to tap into. Have you ever tried walking away from one of your grandma’s passionate rants? Well, if that rant is about your business then you best believe someone will be hearing all about your product, sometimes over and over, and over again. So feel free to comment “like” on our photos it’ll make Patty feel like she’s got it right.