This year I made a New Year’s resolution to embrace technology. Allow me to explain why that is a big deal.
Until a few weeks ago, I was [allegedly] the last person on Earth that did not have a Facebook account. Nor did I Tweet nor Snap Chat. Honestly guys, the fact that I had a blog was huge for someone as intensely private and anti-techie as I.
I was raised by parents that believed technology was the wave of the future for business, but was never to be substituted for interpersonal relationships or real world experiences.
This is the reason a Tandy computer appeared in the corner of our living room when I was a tot but a Nintendo never followed.
The Tandy was to be used for learning to type and write school papers, and later to play Math Blaster – a gaming program that helped me master my multiplication tables and long division. It’s function was scholastic only. It was years before I learned it had a game on there called Nibbles.
Technology was dangerous, my parents lectured, because it divided people from each other. It undermined basic manners. Children with televisions in their rooms to stare at all day would be socially stunted from lack of social interaction with their families. People who answered their phones while at lunch were being rude to the person sitting across the table.
While my friends were playing Mario Brothers, I was climbing trees. When the Play Station was released, I was out riding my bike. I did not get what all the hype was about when the Xbox came out. My upbringing taught playing video games all day would rot the brain and atrophy the body. A well-developed human grew up hiking, building blanket forts, sleeping under stars, and reading Tolkien, not glued to a television screen.
There were a few exceptions to this belief: One was an Atari that came out on special occasions and for 30 glorious minutes I was allowed to play Frogger and Asteroids with reckless abandon. The other was the onset of the Internet. My Dad thought email and chat rooms were the coolest things ever. I frequented one trivia chat room, it was like being a contestant on Jeopardy. Occasionally a game on CD-ROM would replace family board game night.
Outside of these few exceptions technology was strictly prohibited during quality time with other humans. If it was time for dinner, the tv was turned off and everyone came to the table. If the phone rang during the family dinner, too bad, no one was to leave the table. There would be no phones or tvs in our bedrooms no matter how much my sister and I pleaded.
Cell phones didn’t come into vogue until I was in college. My parents poked fun at a twenty-year-old without a job in corporate America needing a cell phone. I decided to buy one to keep in touch when I transferred to a university across the country but quickly began using it as my morning alarm. It wasn’t long before phones had texting and photo capabilities and I joined the masses that couldn’t leave home without their cell phone in their pocket.
2017 arrived and I still had resisted joining social media. After all, technology was for business affairs, not interpersonal relationships. Why should anyone be allowed to know the intimate details of what I ate that day, or where I went, or what I looked like at said location eating aforementioned food? Still, I was constantly missing out. When everyone was invited to something on Facebook, I was left out. When you had to get on Facebook to enter a contest, or get the details for an event, I was in the dark.
Even worse, I was constantly justifying to employers and new acquaintances that dichotomy I had become: a Millennial that couldn’t navigate Instagram or explain what a hashtag was.
In our modern world countless commercials boast of a future where your cell phone will adjust your thermostat and start your dishwasher remotely. You can stream any song or show online any hour of the day. Drones will deliver your take-out order. I want to live in that world! It was time for me to catch up to the rest of society, and that was the impetus for my New Year’s resolution this year.
How’s it going? Well…
First up: Twitter. It has become my official news feed for anything happening live. Turns out it’s not just for hashtags and Kardashians. You can follow as many reputable agencies as your little heart desires.
Second: that rat bastard Facebook. I thought I was immune. I thought I was different, but you guys, my first day on Facebook it consumed my entire Friday. This morning I caught myself checking my Facebook feed before I was out of bed. Besides it’s potential for stalking old boyfriends and endless animal videos, it has also become the main point of contact for countless organizations. I’ve been on it two weeks and can’t remember life before it. When they open a Betty Ford clinic for Facebook addicts I will be requiring an intervention.
Third: Snap Chat. I still have no idea what the point of this app is. Seriously. Why? I hope to someday demystify this.
Fourth: LinkedIn. I have heard many things about LinkedIn, mostly that it is a waste of time. I disagree. One day after posting my credentials I was matched with a charity I feel passionately about and have already interviewed and accepted a pro bono position with them that will give me something impressive to list on my resume.
Fifth: Instagram. I was once sheltered. I used to feel sane and mature. Instagram took all of that away from me in the span of fifteen minutes. Things I didn’t even know were things were plastered everywhere – like “fuck boys.” I wanted to root for the feminists on that one but it devolved rapidly into memes with trains. Things that shouldn’t even BE things – like profiles with hundreds of thousands of followers devoted to pictures of things that are all a single color. Instagram, I am not ready for you and I may never be. I want my innocence back, pronto.
I also bought a Roku but I’m still working on how to search with it. I’d say it’s a pretty good first month to a massive undertaking. What do you guys think my next technology to embrace should be?