by Risa Green
For a while, I was feeling really on top of things, technologically speaking. When email first came out, back when I was in law school, I got on it right away. I was surfing the internet when people were still calling it the world wide web. My husband and I were early adopters of TiVo, digital cameras and Blue Ray. I joined Facebook when it was still considered something for teenagers and college kids, and I started blogging before it became a national pastime. I’ve been a Sirius subscriber since Howard Stern was still on terrestrial radio. And texting? I M GR8 @ IT. But lately, I’m starting to feel behind the curve.
I noticed it for the first time about a month ago, when a dad I know asked for my email address. I gave it to him, and he noted, surprised, that I still use earthlink as my email provider. I didn’t know earthlink still existed, he commented. Then he jokingly asked whether I have a dial up connection. At least, I think he was joking. I do realize that Earthlink is oh so 1997 and that it’s just one degree from still being on AOL, but the thought of informing everyone I know that I’ve switched to gmail or mac, the thought of changing all of my online accounts and contact information in every nook and cranny of my life – ugh. It’s just too overwhelming. I’d rather keep getting monthly emails from Earthlink telling me that my mailbox is almost full than deal with all of that.
But staying with Earthlink is a conscious choice. Being clueless in other areas is not. I know what Skype is, but I’ve never used it until recently, when my eight year-old went online and opened a Skype account so she could video chat with her friends. After she’d been on it for an hour (do you think I should wear this dress or this dress to the party? Wait – do you like my hair this way? Ew! What are you eating?) I told her that she had to get off because I needed to use the phone, and she laughed at me. Moooom, she said, her eyes rolling backwards into her skull. I’m not on the phone. It’s Skype. Sure enough, when I picked up the phone, there was the dial tone, waiting for me the whole time. Duh.
When Twitter first became available, I decided that I would not tweet, because my life is not interesting enough for me to tweet about. But again, I seem to have missed the point. After listening to some people talk about Twitter, I realized that it’s not about making yourself interesting. It’s about commenting on other things that are interesting. And following people who are commenting on things that are interesting. So, I recently opened a Twitter account, for the sole purpose of following Steve Martin, who I hear is a genius of a tweeter. But when I did a search for Steve Martin to try to follow him, I could only find other people commenting about Steve Martin, and all of the # and @ stuff got so confusing that I eventually gave up.