I recently allowed myself to be convinced that Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and the like were good ideas…not things I should fear, cowering in the corner of my cave with club in hand, wrapped tightly in a bearskin. And, it turns out they are good things. But I still have some reservations.
The best thing to come out of the conquering of my luddite tendencies was that I got a job. This is huge. Not only did I get a job, but I got a job doing something I love and am good at to boot. I’m also getting more hits on my blog. More people are listening to the music my friend Pat and I have spent decades recording. I’ve reconnected with some people I genuinely am glad that I will get to talk to again. But there is part of me that is still resistant.
I have thought about this quite a bit. It doesn’t make sense, but it is the same reason I have moments where I absolutely hate the internet. Don’t get me wrong…I am, without a doubt, addicted to the internet. I appreciate that it affords me an easy way to stay in touch with people…a venue for my creative endeavors…the ability to look things up really quickly (like a few minutes ago when I couldn’t put my braincells on the word ‘luddite’). It is the most amazing advancement we have made as a species. But it has changed things.
Here I was writing along, and I thought, ‘ahhh, what do you call people who fear technology?’ Had my answer in ten seconds. But there is part of me that misses the feeling of remembering something you have been trying to think of for days. That nagging, torn cuticle masochism that leads to the ‘aha’ moment where you say, “luddite!…that’s the word I’ve been trying to think of”.
There are other things I miss. I haven’t been to a library in a LONG time. I don’t get mail anymore unless it is a bill or something I bought on eBay. Or junk mail. I feel like an old man banging his cane against the monitor sometimes. The internet is wonderful…but things were wonderful before, too…a different kind of wonderful.
I spend a lot of time on the motorcycle forum I am a part of. And now on Facebook. I spend a lot of time finding various amazing (and many not so amazing) sites on the internet with which to amuse myself. But I spend a lot less time sitting in cafés and chatting with people than I used to. I read less.
I guess it could be argued that progress always involves the death of the old way. And I am not saying I want to be Amish. Hell, a little girl down the street showed me her chickens today (my daughter was very impressed), and all I could think of was, ‘do chicken’s carry diseases? Mites? Bird flu?’
I am the first one to admit that I like modern conveniences. I spend a lot of time on a pocketknife forum, too. I collect ‘traditional’ pocketknives. And we spend a lot of time waxing poetic about the ‘traditional’ ways of life that are disappearing, but it is pretty hypocritical and dumb, too. I like buying milk. I don’t want to milk a cow. But, then again, I have never milked a cow. Maybe it’s awesome.
What I think doesn’t matter, anyway. The ball is rolling and has been for some time. But it makes me wonder what kind of world my daughter will live in. Which makes me nostalgic for things that we still have. Which is a weird concept in and of itself. And that is why, despite the fact that I like the internet. And despite the fact that I think social networking is ‘neat’. And despite the fact that I can’t go three hours without checking my email, I will always drag my feet. Because I already miss the way things are.