A challenge facing any journalist is turning jargon into English. Jargon turns people off, quite rightly. Turning it into everyday language also forces you to try to understand what is actually being said.
So what is social media? As far as I can tell, it means websites or other internet applications which allow users to add to the content in some way, or generally do something more than passively reading it.
In other words, it's the internet. The internet has always done that.
Once, it was ICQ (one of the first instant messaging services), newsgroups (like a shared e-mail account which anyone can write to or download messages from), IRC (chatrooms) and forums (still the best way of sharing and discussing ideas for my money). And, of course, there were blogs, before people used the word blog.
One of the biggest drivers of change has been the growth of broadband, which lets you download things like videos, pictures and far more quickly than you could with the modems we used to use.
Hence, you have YouTube and a host of similar sites, iTunes - which lets anyone advertise podcasts (little radio shows) to the world, as well as selling you music - and torrents, which provide an easy way to "share files" (pirate stuff, usually).
It's all great. So why tell people who are happily using the internet, but may not know about all the good stuff out there, that they need to get into "social media"?
It's a buzzword, and someone who doesn't respond well to buzzwords is no curmudgeon. I'd call it a healthy response.