Friday, April 1, 2011

Out of the Loop

Dear Secret Blogiary,

It was way past my bedtime. I could hear muffled chatter from downstairs and occasional laughter. I lay in bed trying to identify the laughs by pitch and tone. Clearly, my brother’s laugh was deep, while my mom “tee-heed.” And for the life of me I knew, just knew, I was missing out on the single most important thing in my life!

It was the same thing every night. I would get to watch Jeopardy then maybe Punky Brewster, Family Ties or The Facts of Life then I was shuffled off to bed. But I knew, after my story and getting tucked in, that Other Stuff was going on right down at the bottom of the stairs.

Many a time I would, with as much stealth as an 8 year old could muster, sneak down the stairs to see what was going on. I managed to watch snippets of Knight Rider, bits of the A-Team, almost an hour of Ice Pirates. But without fail, I would eventually get caught and get sent back to bed.

Mom walks me back upstairs and watches as I climb into bed again.

"Why do you do this every night?" she asks as I lay down.

"Cause." I say yawning, "I don't want to miss it."

She shakes her head, tucks the blanket up around my shoulders, and leans down to kiss my forehead. 

"You are not missing out on anything, dear, we are just watching T.V."

I close my eyes as she walks out of the room. She is part of the conspiracy, I think before giving in to sleep.

And it is moments like this that I feel like I am missing out on something. Something BIG. All because of my unwillingness to embrace current trends and technologies.

It isn’t that I dislike technology; it's just that it is too much to keep up with.

I miss my rotary dial phone.
I miss the Atari.
I miss news just at 6 and 11.

And I am only 34.

I was fine with dial-up until Mister W. wanted cable back and Comcast (the Devils that they are) offered a triple pack that was cheap.

My prepaid cell phone does one thing.
My mp3 player only plays music.

I never jumped on the MySpace wagon.

I have failed at Facebook. I only have about 60 friends and they are mostly family (my nephew has over 300! How can you even know that many people?) Honestly, I did have more at one point, but they were all people from high school that I never talked to in high school to begin with so I unfriended them. Harsh, right?

Social media is not something I have gotten the hang of. And so when people on other blogs talk about Twitter and the Four Square, I feel, well, out of the loop. Missing something.

Far cooler people than I utilize Twitter for utter awesomeness. The Bloggess, for instance, is currently campaigning for Nathan Fillion to send her a picture of him holding twine. Sexily. She'll do it too, as she has magical powers.

I can’t compete at that level. I don’t even want to. It would be hilarious to follow though.

BUT (and you knew this was coming right?) The point of Twitter, updating your life status, seems rather silly to me. In extreme cases, as in say overthrowing the government, sure, then I guess Twitter would be a blessing to have. But in my very small world, I don’t see the point. What exactly am I missing out on?

The other day, I went out for ice cream with the Girls. Unusually warm and balmy, we opted to sit outside. Across the sidewalk from us, also enjoying their ice cream, sat two girls, probably in their very early twenties. Clearly, they had come out together to hang out but neither of them looked at the other. They weren’t talking. They weren’t giggling or gossiping. They were on their cell phones, texting, browsing the internet, Tweeting maybe?

And I see this everywhere.

I may be old fashioned. I like old school: Old school music, old school technology, old school if-you-can’t-reach-me-leave-a-message-at-the-beep style of living. But isn’t there going to be a point, where technology for its own sake is going to go just a bit too far? I’m not talking Matrix conspiracies or protesting to stop progress, but as a teacher, I do see first hand where this is going. I have students who balk at reading a short story because it is too long, students who can’t seem to get past “text writing” in their formal essays. I don’t want to be Chicken Little nor do I claim to have studies to back it up (not yet anyhow but I am totally going to Google it), but clearly (to me at least) technology is becoming a problem.
Whoa! Where did this soapbox come from? I’ll stop there. I started this post because I felt like I was missing something. Now, I realize that I am.

The 80’s.

Clearly, I need to step up my “going Amish” plan. But first I need to check to see if Nathan sent that picture yet.


  1. I agree with almost everything you've said, apart from missing dial-up - I don't. It drove me nuts.

    I loathe text speak; when I write out a text I write it out properly and will NEVER be guilty of writing things like 'c u l8r'. Makes me shudder.

    I dabbled with Twitter for all of about two minutes, but came to the conclusion I couldn't be bothered with it.

    My eyes glaze over on Facebook when I see things like:

    ' going to have a bath' or
    ' sooooo tired' or even
    '...has just cooked a yummy roast dinner'

    Why do people feel the need to broadcast these things? I couldn't give a flying ferret about that sort of information.

    Shuffle over on that soapbox of yours, I'll join you!

  2. @Bub - Thanks. At least I know it isn't just me. And, yeah...about dial-up...I guess I don't miss it all that much either :)