Is @oldmansearch real?

25 May

Recently, @oldmansearch has surfaced on Twitter. At first we were hesitant to jump on this bandwagon because there are so many people trying to ride the coattails of S*&* My Dad Says. But, alas, @oldmansearch has not let us down. In just 57 tweets he has won the hearts of over 90,000 follwers on Twitter.

If you haven’t heard of @oldmansearch you’re missing out. His bio reads, “My dad is 81 years old. I’m teaching him how to use the internet. I told him twitter was how to search things on Google. These tweets are what he’s searching.”

Amoung his first were “empty threes”, followed by “MP3”, and then later came “night blindness”. Then, “I’m night blind.” Each time he tweets I find myself holding back tears from laughing so hard.

Despite how funny this account may be, the obvious thing to think here is that this must be a hoax. What old man would fall for this? What on earth does he think happens when he hits “tweet” and sees no search results? Wouldn’t he give up and chalk the internet up to some useless device used only by spies and hooligans?

The one string of tweets gives me hope that this account is legit are the ones where Norman N. seems to be looking for an old flame by the name of “Shirley Tarnow”. At first he was trying to find her on Facebook and then after discovering her married name he searched her obituary on “Google”.

This poor old man has finally gained access to the internet, is trying to find old love, Lipitor, and the hours to Cracker Barrel, and instead has no answers but has become an internet phenom.

Because all of us who follow @oldmansearch are already on Twitter, we are already that far ahead of the curve so we are quick to judge the validity of this account. Might we remind you that there are still over 84 million people in the US alone who are not using the internet? And even if you have the internet it doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing with it. There are a lot of people out there who have no idea how to do a Google search let alone know what Twitter is. My mom is pretty tech savvy and even she thought following someone on Twitter without them knowing was illegal.

So what do you think? Is @oldmansearch just some clever kid sitting in his basement getting an insanely huge kick out of this? Or is Norman N. really out there?


7 Responses to “Is @oldmansearch real?”

  1. L-A May 25, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    A friend’s grandmother call of the interweb “the email”, so I can believe an 86 year old would be confused by the twitter and convinced it’s something else (although, wouldn’t he ask why it doesn’t give him back any answers?).

    However, I’m skeptical about almost everything, especially on Twitter, so I assume it’s someone wanting to get in on the S*&* My Dad Says bandwagon. (I’m only slightly hypocritical – I was a big fan of Steve’s Roommate on Twitter and never once questioned it’s authenticity).

  2. Jon Reid May 25, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    It would be cool if it was real but I have doubts.

    The main doubt is that the poor fellow would give up after getting no results wouldn’t he? At least eventually…

  3. Jason May 25, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    I smell a set-up. Either someone is trying to get their own TV show, or we’re going to find out that this thing is connected to some marketer somewhere. Either way, for me it loses it’s appeal almost immediately.

  4. Frank June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Well, a little digging reveals another Twitter account, @search_result, that appears to be providing “answers” to @oldmansearch via direct reply. However, the answers are rarely informative; rather, the “answers” generally seem to skew more in the direction of providing amusement. This account also has very few followers, so either it’s not actually providing “answers”, or very few people have bothered to do any detective work.

    Even assuming that the @search_result account is indeed the son of @oldmansearch, it would require some ingenuity to pull off, most likely in the form of a third party Twitter client that would allow one to filter out all mentions save for those from a certain account.

  5. rcrantz January 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    My instinct is that if it’s genuine, it’s not 100% genuine. That is, maybe the son has rigged up a Twitter feed that’s connected to his dad’s actual google searches, so it’s more spying on him than exploiting his ignorance. Actual technophobes aren’t going to keep trying and getting no results for a year.

  6. Mark July 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    I think it’s fake. One of his tweets was ” Is Mr. Freeny British?”

    Obviously no 80 year old is watching reruns of boy meets world, right!?


  1. Oldmansearch: Going Beyond The Polemic - February 21, 2012

    […] naming it comedy worth gold. Some people didn’t see any laughter material, and expressed a lot of criticism. We can argue about the real motivation behind this Twitter account, if it is a hoax or a real […]

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