Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Twitter - Can I Keep Up?

When you were a kid, did you think your grandparents were old? That they dressed a little funny? And when you were a teenager you told them even less than you told your parents because you feared that they just didn't understand what was happening in your world?

I thought that Ned and I wouldn't have that problem with our grandsons. We were with it. We were part of the technological age. We used cell phones and were early adopters of computers (not like McCain who is just learning to use a computer). I even have had a blog for 3-1/2 years. We think that kids should be taught sex education. We had lived through their parents moving in together. We weren't sticking our heads in the sand about what was happening today.

They would be able to talk to us about anything. But, damn, the world was still moving faster than we were! The kids aren't talk-talking anymore. They have moved on to Texting, Facebook and Twitter and we haven't.

Rick Sanchez on CNN is using this new technology on his broadcasts and I feel that the sound bites are even smaller. I want more indepth discussion. I want time to think about what is being presented but maybe it is just that my 'mature' brain can't jump that fast.

Still, I want to be with it. If I were using a cell phone a lot, I'm sure I would have jumped on the Texting bandwagon but right now I don't use the cell phone much and don't have anyone to send text messages to. So I've been looking at Facebook and Twitter. Then along comes this article in the New York Times Magazine on the phemonenon of social networks, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.

Whoa! Do I want more digital intimacy? The blog already seems like an invasion of privacy sometimes although I do censor what I write but then once you put the information on the internet you don't know who will read it or how it will be intrepreted. For example, just this week, Ned called our Financial Advisor to ask a question and he asked Ned if we were going to buy the lot and build. It was said in jest but it was a shock. I knew he read the blog sometimes but while writing the blog the fact that he read the blog never crossed my mind. Actually, I think he has known us for a while and he figures that one of these days, I'll probably build another house.

Back to today's digital age. One of my sons who employs '30 somethings' says I have no idea how the blackberry's and cell phones are a permanent part of their hands. That what is coming in on the digital device is more important than the person that is standing in front of them and actually talking to them. All of CNN's political analyst had their blackberry's in-hand even while they were on-air and were constantly glancing down at it to see what was coming in.

Oh well, so much for being a new kind of 'with it' grandparent. I don't think I want to Twitter or Tweet....Besides who do I know who would Tweet back?


Bob Mrotek said...

I'm with you. I keep trying to keep up with technology but I always find myself falling behind. The thing about young people paying more attention to the digital device than the human being in front of them rang a bell with me. I should have seen all of this coming. About twenty years ago a major railroad that I was involved with was having trouble getting its employees to pay attention during training sessions and they hit on the idea of making the training sessions on video tape and playing them on a TV in the classroom. They even named it "Pacman". The results were amazing. The same people who had trouble paying attention to a teacher in person had no trouble paying attention to the same person on TV. Go figure...

Steve Cotton said...

Bob has a good point. Television seems to have a magical spell over the human mind. Just ask Homer Simpson. But it is not just television. When I was in the Air Force, no matter how many people were in line, clerks would answer the telphone before talking to the person waiting right in front of them. As if the telephone had higher social status. The line was: "Whoever is on the telephone is first in line."

I see the same phenomenon now with Blabkberries and cell phones. All messages must be answered now -- no matter who you are talking to. We see it as rude. Younger people see it simply as the way life is. We learn or we die.

I am on my way back to my crypt.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I decided to resist twitter and texting. Actually texting costs the same as a phone call 1 peso so I'll just talk.
I don't need to be so much in touch,I resisted a cell phone for a long time. My son and daughter both only have cell phones! No landline at all.
The world is changing, it always does but I don't want to be cutting edge let alone bleeding edge.
Heck I was happy with barefoot DOS and only switched when DOS couldn't run what I wanted anymore without an interface.

jennifer rose said...

Accept that you'll never be entirely in tune with the next generation. You really don't want to be, and that generation's progeny don't want you to be, either.

Adapt what you can, and celebrate the generational disconnect. After all, your ancestors and mine weren't real sure that moveable type and electricity would exactly catch on.

Anonymous said...

No te preocupes! You are SUCH a cool grandparent whether you get into every nook and crany of the internets or not. You are an artist, you have a blog, you read and at least know what's out there (whether you embrace it or not.)

May all grandparents be like you! It is a great way to connect with the younger generation. Younger generations don't use snail mail, so if you're not online, you'll be missing contact with them.

You're great, Billie!

Babs said...

Billie, I kinda like "not being with it". My oldest granddaughter gets a big kick when I'm visiting showing me how to make movies, change the music to reggae on my cell phone and generally anything that has to do with electronics. She loves to roll her eyes and say, "Oh Grammy!" which tickles me to death.......

Cynthia said...

My girls introduced me to texting a long time ago. I love it when I'm in the grocery store and I get a message that says "buy whole grain bread" or "I need notebook paper". So much easier than taking a call and so to the point.

I looked at Twitter the other day and thought I would skip this trend. I've resisted Facebook, though I just got a message from an old friend saying she has a page. She invited me to sign up and see her pictures.

I sort of want to see them.

erika said...

While in India, one of the other travellers I was with posted a video to his Facebook account. When i went home, I wanted to show it to my friends...and couldn't without first making an account, finding the fellow traveller, requesting to be his friend, waiting to be accepted by said friend, and THEN (days later) being able to view the video. Whew! I was so pissed. At first, I totally ignored FB except to show people that video. Now, I find that it is a very intereting way to keep up with people that I'd never run into enough to really know what they have been up to. Yeah, it's just bits and pieces, but it's oddly reassuring that I know what has made them happy ttoday, where they are travelling to, if they got a new job, etc. As for real conversation? I agree, you can't beat it! And spending time with people (and not checking your blackberry, etc) is still the best. But FB allows me to keep in touch with students, former students, old friends who moved, and folks who are all over the place. It's kinda nice...but it is just one more thing to check every day. BTW: Frank signed up! :)

islagringo said...

You can text me anytime! We also use Skype a lot.

pitchertaker said...

I signed on to Facebook out of self-defense -- my students were threatening to make a page for me. AIN'T GONNA' LET THAT HAPPEN! And now I find that my wife and the Antiquarian Society have Facebook accounts. But like Erika said, it's another way to keep up with people. I mean, like, duh, how would I know that Bridget has a broken tail bone?


jillian said...

Bulgakov wrote, "manuscripts don't burn" and I have seen first hand how blogs do not, cannot be immolated, erased or forgotten. It is still shocking when persons I don't know recall something about me I never told them directly. I put my thoughts out there and ...tend to forget because I feel unburdened. The audience does not. We communicate faster and more furiously now but the connection resonates deeply.

Gin said...

I only use my cell phone when I'm in the states. That means what I did know about it I've forgotten. Then I have to ask my grandson to give me remedial. His response is, "Grannie I showed you that once before", LOL. I tell him old brains don't retain the unimportant stuff. At least I can e-mail two of the rascals and sometimes get a one line response. I accept the fact that life is passing our generation by same as it has the prior generations.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one of the big advantages of text is the relatively cheap cost of sending a text internationally. I can send a text to my Mexican friends from the USA for about 50 cents, and it costs them 5 pesos to send me a text. This is much, much cheaper than a call.

That said, texts between USA and Mexico are hardly instant, especially the ones that originate in Mexico. They can often be delayed by several hours.


Kim G
Boston, MA