Friday, September 11, 2009


You could never accuse me of being on the cutting edge of technology. I was the last kid on the family block to have such now-commonplace gadgets as a garage door opener and a cordless phone. I play the old cassette tape recorder in the basement when I work out. And I still don’t know how to program the VCR. What’s that you say… there’s something called TIVO? Well, what will they think of next?
However, tech challenged as I am, I have recently become a member of the Facebook family. This social networking phenomenon started in 2006 boasts over 200 million users. I have run into people from long-past years, and even found out some things about the family before my wife, which is a real coup since she could have been a top agent for the CIA the way she gathers information. She might tell me something and I smugly say “Yeah, I knew that, saw it on Facebook,” to which she merely rolls her eyes and laughs softly at the idea of Grampa hob-knobbing in cyberspace with the young and restless of our clan. From my exhaustive research, which mainly consisted of talking with my daughters and my students, I have found out that there are many other avenues to spread the most inane facts of ones life to the universe. They carry names like MySpace and Bebo for the younger set, Linkedin for business purposes, and Skype for those into the visual method of e-talk. Then, there’s that old reliable, texting. Speaking of which, I don’t leave messages on anyone’s cell phone anymore, since they never checked them anyway. The return call consisted of this: “Hey, you called?” “Yeah, didn’t you get my message?”
To which the answer was always “no”, delivered in a somewhat exasperated tone. So I’ve joined the ranks of the Thumb Warriors, and the results are mixed. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the fat little digit that faces in a different direction from its four mates was made for such a dexterous activity. Maybe I can invent a new device where good old Thumbkin functions as he was meant to and we can tap-tap those miniscule keys like the Good Lord intended when He invented index fingers and Blackberry’s in the first place!
As popular as these methods may be, there are some problems.
Texting while driving is like rolling down the street with your eyes closed. Once you put something into the air, or wherever it goes, it’s out there, baby, for all to see. And talk about addictive. With all due respect to those who partake in e-talk, is it really necessary to tell your network that “I just got home and boy am I tired.” So go to bed, already!
I have a theory. All these electrical impulses bouncing around in the stratosphere at all hours of day and night may be the real reason behind global warming.
Hey, maybe I should Tweet about it?