I have children and grandchildren so I spend some of my time working hard on being “with it”.
I haven’t gone as far as wearing short skirts and dresses (not with my knees, please), or styling my hair a la early Barbie (if I had a Ken, I might think differently), or buying 5 inch stilettos (I’m Chair of the CLSW… The Committee for Licensing Stilettos as a Weapon).
Here is my rationale for my commitment to electronical living…
I love my children and grandchildren and I want to be able to communicate with them. Somewhere in that rationale is a glimmer of truth, but only a glimmer.
I am your basic garden variety guilt-ridden judgmental person.
So of course, THIS HAPPENING IS NOT MY FAULT.
Here is the backstory… I was dragged kicking and screaming into electronic living.
One of my sons-in-law took time away from work to educate me and hook up my first computer. A friend bought my first iPad to help me navigate that new phenomena. An ordinary cell phone was not enough, I had to become an iPhone owner.
Like I said… Not My Fault.
Slowly, but ever so surely, I have been co-opted by the tech and social media industry.
Don’t you believe it.
I went willingly to the gallows.
Without having to resort to short skirts, long hair, stilettos, I was a with it mother and grandmother.
I was plugged in! (Sorry!)
Over the last two years, I added texting to my growing bag of tricks. I was so with it, I frightened myself.
Then, like a character in a Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode (if you haven’t heard of him…that is really what the internet is for… research), I began to see and hear things that no one else was seeing or hearing.
Very recently, I hosted an immediate family picnic by the lake. So great! So lovely! Good Food! Good drink! Good people! Good texting!
Did I say texting???
Yes, I did.
You see I am old enough to remember family picnics when we ate, we drank, we talked, we played and then we went home.
At this gathering, everyone… and I mean everyone, including me at some point eventually hauled out the cell phone and started texting.
I had developed one rule over the years and that was no cell phones at the dinner table. Everyone agreed, charitable to me out of family title and respect. But this was a picnic… buffet and chairs all over the lawn… so I watched and I timed. If I thought I was frightened before, that was nothing to what I was feeling then.
And this was just one instance of what I have come to believe is a really serious communication problem.
We all think that texting is communicating!
How can that be?
How can a one-sided text be likened to a dialogue between two people?
There was a time when if there was a misunderstanding I took the time (not the trouble… the time) to connect with the person involved and work it out. Of course I am older, and truly my friends, at this stage of my life, no matter how clever the machine, I cannot afford to lose any more friends and family than I have already lost… so if there are problems, I want to work it out.
Texts don’t do it!
They never will.
Does that mean I want more in a relationship than a text will give me?
You bet I do!
So, what to do??
I cannot change the world. I can change me. I don’t want to misunderstand or be misunderstood. I prefer to hear your voice. I want to discuss, challenge, interest, invite, share… but I do not like sharing my thoughts with a machine.
‘Tis a puzzlement… how to be in this world but not of it. I have a dear friend who shares my conundrum… Recently, she sent me this article from The Week, reprinted from an op-ed in the New York Times.
THE LAND WHERE THE INTERNET ENDS By Pagan Kennedy
It is a gift. Isn’t it nice to know we are not alone? I would like to offer this gift to any who would receive it in the spirit in which it is sent.
Right?? Of course, right!!!