In the course of my day I check at least four email accounts in addition to message accounts on two different social networks. As a writer I also check into several websites for private messages. In addition, I post regularly on a few different forums and read several blogs.
The first indication that I may not be as clever as I thought was when I came across this report stating that kids today do not consider email their primary form of electronic communication. That fact alone was a bit of a shock to me. The bigger shock is that the report was from 2006! Has my email reliance suddenly become the rotary phone of the new generation?
I don’t feel like I am falling behind, but there it is in black and white. People were moving away from email four years ago and yet I am still relying on it today to send and receive messages from friends. In the age of instant communication email is now like snail mail and I am that old guy, sitting in my rocking chair waving my fist at those little punks walking across my yard IM’ing each other.
But you know what? I don’t really want or need to have people sending me messages all day asking me what I am doing or where I am. If I want to meet with someone I set up the appointment and call if I am going to be late. If I want to talk to them I call and if there is something important I need them to read I find email works just fine.
IMs strike me as a way for someone to constantly poke you all day, especially if your friends were like this girl who managed to send over 41,000 texts messages in one month. That’s more than 1300 texts a day or more than 50 texts an hour, 24 hours a day.
The second thing that made me think that I was on my way to becoming the most technologically advanced cave man in my neighborhood was this report. It seems there are 75 million people now with a Twitter account. This means that 75 million people are doing something that I do not know how to do and have no interest in.
This includes about a million people that “follow” Ashton Kutcher. What does Ashton Kutcher have to say that anyone needs up to the minute access to his thoughts? Trucker hats? Botox for Demi? Apparently a lot of celebrities have a twitter account. Personally, I can’t think of a better way for people to avoid stalkers than giving perfect strangers access to your daily thoughts.
Some people believe that this is a great advancement but check out these tweets between porn star Jenna Jameson and MMA fighter Chuck Liddell recently:
Jenna: I think its funny that @DanaWhite defends Chuck Liddell like he’s his boyfriend… It’s kinda embarrassing
Chuck: @jennajameson she can talk all the s*** she want tito is still a p**** and I ko’d him twice
Jenna: actually… I’ve never seen @titoortiz get knock the f*** out… Chuck has twice in the past year…
Chuck: oh I’m sorry the 1st 1 I dropped him and they stopped it the 2nd I hurt him and he quit
Jenna: Listen all you Chuck fans.. I saw @danawhites post defending Chucks gut…it’s embarrassing, my opinion, take it for what its worth
Jenna: Yes, Dana favors Chuck, always has… maybe he has a weiner to match his belly, and Dana may like it.hehehe
They promised robot butlers and instead we got an electronic bathroom wall. Sure this guy sold his house by using twitter, but most people aren’t doing anything nearly as productive. I will be the first to admit that 99.99% of the thoughts in my head are not worth sharing with anyone. The other .1% will be of interest to only a handful of people.
You say you don’t like twitter? How about sweetter, yonkly, friendfeed, tumblr, or jaiku? Typing words too old school for you? Well good news because Hictu is here for you to give video updates of what happened when you brushed your teeth that morning. Want words and video? I present Utterli, booyah!
Even Google got in the act when it unveiled Google Buzz earlier this year. Google didn’t even bother with that whole signing up thing because that is so 2009. Instead it just unleashed it on its Gmail users. One minute I was happily typing emails and rubbing sticks together to make fire and the next I was a Google Buzz user. I was following people, people were following me, all of us were amazed at how boring we were. Google seemed determined to drag me into the new order whether I liked it or not.
But even the most ardent social networker has their limits and the backlash came swiftly. Apparently people wanted the right to decide for themselves who they wanted telling them stupid jokes all day, every day. The company backtracked, fixed some of the problems and handed out fat rolls of cash to its employees because it was a Thursday and Thursday is fat rolls of cash day at Google. Wednesdays are meatloaf.
Google had gone too far and I was relieved that a line had been drawn at least for now, because I haven’t felt any kind of void in my life due to my lack of access to twitter or any of its imitators. This either means those 75 million people aren’t tweeting anything of value to me, or I’m getting what I need from somewhere else.
Am I just being honest, or are these the ramblings of a grumpy old man, out of touch with the new social media wearing my proverbial black socks and sandals? Only time will tell. In the meantime I’m going to Skype my friend about this article I Dugg after someone sent me the link by email and then share it on Facebook after I post a video of myself looking at it on Youtube.