Social Media is one of the latest terms to describe what has been going on for years. It is one of many concepts I've learned since I began selling retail advertising a few months ago. 

Today it refers to things like Facebook and Twitter - those Internet places where people look down instead of where they are going and write messages with their thumbs. I find it amusing to watch them in stores or walking down the street, wondering when they are going to bump into someone in person rather than on Facebook or Twitter. 

Lest I be convicted of hypocrisy, it is true that I am "on" Facebook and Twitter occasionally, though why anyone would care about what I ate for breakfast or what I think about anything in 40 characters or less is beyond me. 

I prefer the social media where I see people smile and who make me smile. I can speak to them and hear words coming from their vocal chords. I see the laugh lines around their eyes and realize it's not that guy in my mirror or my friends who are getting older -- the world is getting older. 

Oh, I enjoy seeing photos of my grandchildren who live in Missouri on Facebook. But it's more fun when I can have all my grandchildren together at once, like at our recent family Christmas, when at one time or another they all piled on me. I doubt my brother-in-law's living room chair will ever be the same again. 

I prefer the traditional social media. 

In the past week, I ran into five friends at a local restaurant while eating lunch. One was a neighbor when we lived in Waveland. Another was an old friend whose family used to farm outside Alamo, near Wallace. She proceeded to tell her dining companion from Darlington how we met and how I used to stay at her house from time to time when I was in college. Her friend was also an old friend of mine, and a fellow writer. Then, there were two other friends I had met through Rotary. 

We all laughed together as we said hello. 

It was pretty tame entertainment. There were no smart phones, Android or iPhone, involved. No one had to look at a screen to see what someone else was saying and the only buttons pushed may have been some good-natured kidding.

Turning back to our favorite Montgomery County newspaper - if you look inside the pages of today's edition you will find all kinds of information about things you can do and places you should go to take advantage of our advertisers' products. 

You will probably find coupons to save you money as you go out and about this week. 

If you are like me and just have to go online from time to time, be sure to check out our website at www.thepaper24-7.com. There you will find more of the same type of information you look for in these pages. And, if you click on "E-edition" at the top of the screen, you can even download and read this edition of The Paper on your computer or smart phone. 

Now that's my kind of social media!



Frank Phillips sells retail advertising for The Paper. He has observed and reported West Central Indiana events for the past 19 years.