Technology: I still don’t get it

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life as I know it has become manifested in the dim, blinking brake lights in the distance, having left me behind.

It’s this technology thing I still don’t get.

Every time an IT geek tries to explain a procedure to me to post something online, or how to engage in the trolling of Twitter, I have this look on my face that goes beyond looking like a monkey doing a math problem. My eyes glaze over.

My jaw goes slack.

I think even the corner of my mouth draws up the cheek a little bit.

People look at me like I’ve just had a stroke.

I don’t get technology. Not even remotely.

I’m the guy that hasn’t just fallen off the learning curve, I’ve been left behind.

I’m the guy that put a wash cloth over the blinking clock display light on the VCR because I didn’t know how to set the time.

The fact that I’m using a movie playing/recording device in a technology that hasn’t been used by anyone under the age of 70 for the last 10 years should give you a good clue as to how lost I am.

I first displayed this lost expression back during my teenage years in high school when the Algebra teacher wrote an equation down on the blackboard - a blackboard is a prehistoric Tablet or iPad.

He wrote: A + B = C.

Then he turned to me and said, “Find the value of C.”

I looked at him and said, “Mr. Clarke. I have a hard enough time spelling with these things, now you want me to add them?”

It’s been downhill from there ever since.

I’m one of those comfortable with thinking inside the box.

Lately it’s been all about Twitter.

The explanation of Twitter when I asked, “What is Twitter?” was pretty simple.

“Your post on Twitter is what they call a ‘Tweet.’

“People then follow you and you follow them and you highlight your tweets with a hashtag (#).”

And there I was thinking A + B = C all over again, just like in school.


I’m not a bird, I’m a human being.

People follow you and you follow them.

I’m trying to imagine getting behind someone that doesn’t want to be in front. We’d be walking around in circles trying to get at each other’s backs.

It’s a lot like dancing, but nobody’s going anywhere.

Then I looked at what they’re calling a hashtag (#).

When I was a kid I used to play tic-tac-toe on those things. Seeing this hashtag makes me want to draw up some X’s and O’s.

They even had a TV show with this thing. The hashtag was famous with Hollywood Squares long before it dominated Twitter.

The problem I see with Twitter is the manifestation of a common problem with America today.

Everybody talks yet nobody listens.

Everybody posts on Twitter but nobody replies.

It’s like politics, talk shows and even conversations on the street.

They look at you with this faraway glaze on their face. They’re counting down, waiting for you to pause because they know you have to stop and take a breath eventually.

And as soon as you do, they pounce on your conversation thread like a Ninja warrior and go off on their own thought tangent.

No one listens.

They’re just waiting on their turn to speak.

Pretty soon we’ll all be sitting alone in our living rooms, staring into our communications devices and talking to no one and everyone, waiting for the reply that never comes.

I don’t even watch TV anymore.

I watch the screen on my laptop.

Hey, I wonder what’s on You Tube tonight?

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