|Image from edudemic.com. Even the website for this image knows what I'm talking about.|
When I got my first computer (at school, mind you, it would be several MORE years before I got a home computer), it was a teeny-tiny little Mac. CPU and monitor were a single unit, and the screen was about six or eight inches wide. Black and white.
I was very, very proud of it.
I was so proud, in fact, that as soon as someone showed me how to put a game called Tetris on it (copied from a floppy disk, mind you), I took it home for the weekend. It was small enough to do that with very little effort. But I would have happily exerted a lot of effort anyway.
I took it home on a Friday afternoon and started playing Tetris. My then-husband had a penchant for falling asleep on the sofa (or passing out drunk on the sofa, take your pick), and I sat at the kitchen table playing on my new toy. When he eventually stirred and I looked up at the clock, it was 4:30. AM. Houston, we have a problem. An addiction, if you will.
I love learning new things related to technology, and I love teaching myself how to stretch that knowledge to new boundaries. When I was teaching online, I tried all sorts of new things. Embedding, coding, surveying, recording online sessions, I wanted to do it all. When my full-time job was using a computer-based curriculum in the classroom, I used technology to supplement. I wrote quizzes, created dropboxes, used wikis, engineered voice threads, and implemented discussion boards, all using technology.
But I can't keep up.
I came to the sometimes-nightmare that is Facebook, and it took me a long time to embrace it. In fact, I created an account, established some connections and re-established others, and deleted my account. I said (rather smugly) that if the only way I could know when my daughter made the Dean's List was by Facebook, that was a sad state of affairs. Then I realized that if the only way I could know when my daughter made the Dean's List was by Facebook, I needed it more than ever.
I go through spells of using Facebook. I certainly don't use it as a "good morning, world!" and a "good night, world!" and an "everything in between, world!" like one of my former students. I tend to use it a lot when I'm traveling, to post updates on where I am and what I'm doing. I'm not even sure why I do THAT, but it seems an innocent enough use of social media and not (as) annoying. I hope.
I resisted the Twitter craze for a long time, mainly because I couldn't tell the difference between it and Facebook. I still can't. Except that Twitter requires one to be terse and succinct, and we can already tell by the length of this post that I'm incapable of THAT. I eventually created a Twitter account, and while I rarely tweet, I do check it every day to see what people are up to. Mainly UGA athletes. People I do not know and will probably never meet in person (with the exception of gymnasts, who cannot escape me at the team tailgates because it's such a small environment). Why do I feel it necessary to know their thoughts and activities?
I don't have a clue.
But I figure it's innocent enough, and there are lots worse things I could be addicted to. Besides, I do sometimes get worthwhile information from Twitter, and while it may not be stop-the-presses-this-is-world-changing, it is usually significant. That's how I found out the other day that we lost ANOTHER wide receiver to a knee injury, and his college football career is over.
(Aside: I just figured out why women don't play football. There's no way in hell any of us would be willing to play a position called "wide receiver." Mystery solved.)
So I'm on Facebook, and I'm on Twitter (but mostly as a stalker), and then I find out there are things called Pinterest, Instagram, and a whole host of other media outlets for which I SIMPLY DON'T HAVE TIME!!!
I will probably be the 21st century equivalent of a writer who still composes on a Royal typewriter. A manual one. I'll be clinging to my Facebook and Twitter (although the grasp on the latter will be a tenuous one at best), and the rest of the world will have moved on to telepathy and smellavision.
It will just have to leave me behind. My hard drive is full.