For those of you who are my regular readers (poor critters), what I have to say will come as no surprise.
But for the rest of you, this may come as a shock.
Either way, it makes for an interesting topic, and a most enthralling lead paragraph (Don’t you think?)
Anyway, the fact is that I’m new to the internet and the smartphones thing.
I know, I know; at 24, to be ignorant of the ways of the world wide web. But I’m afraid it is just so.
In my defense, the new-fangled is rather new to my whole family. My background isn’t what anyone would call “advanced” or “progressive.”
I got my first cell phone as a freshman in high school, years after my friends did.
The internet did not enter our door but six years ago. I was one of those few students who in high school had to explain to their teachers why they had to give them a pen-and-paper assignment, why they couldn’t do the assignment they had posted on a website.
My cousins would tell me about the latest thing on some YouTube, and after several rounds with context clues I figured out that it was a website where general foolishness happened for all to see. I have since learned that part of my assessment was formed by my cousins’ use of it rather than its better potential.
It was the same with MySpace; just plain trouble as far as I knew. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I gave in and got a Facebook. My friends had been on there for years, often having to fill me in and go the extra mile (Bless them!) to let me know when events were going on.
But faced with college, I thought it’d be a cheap way to keep up with family and friends, so I had one of them help me through the process of setting up an email and account so I could keep in touch. I still remember one of the first messages I received: “Hell has frozen over.”
In college, I amazed my colleagues with the fact that I had never watched SNL and didn’t know who Tosh.O was (and still really don’t). But I was equally shocked by how surprised they were that I had not only eaten squirrel, but liked it too. They didn’t even want to hear about possum, which I have never tried but have heard is intolerably greasy.
Yep, friends, I was a rock in the river of progress from the start, and I know a lot of you were too.
I’m two years with Twitter, although at one point I abandoned the thing for six months. Can’t say for sure the last time I logged into Pinterest, but I know it was near two years ago.
Been using Pandora since shortly after Facebook, and a week ago began to explore Spotify. Briefly, I was on Snapchat.
I’ve no notion of Instagram, Vine (although I hear it’s kaput), Gmail (had to look up the spelling) or much of anything Google except the search engine, its advanced settings, and alerts. I have a Hotmail account that simply corrects itself and goes to Outlook every time.
When I bought a “nextbook” three years ago, I spent three hours trying to figure out how to take Windows 8 off and put 7 on, without success.
As much as I’ve resisted technology in general, my biggest fight has been for avoiding the smartphone.
My freshman year of college I got a touchscreen, but pitched that for a slider phone because the thing would lock me out or do other things without my knowing it.
Then I started at the Banner, and I found that my text messages were becoming more difficult to read as they started to came in pieces. So I took Mom’s iPhone 5c when she got an upgrade about a year ago, and here we are ever since.
In the last two months I have come around to the usefulness of apps. I’m especially fond of Overdrive, which allows me to download entire books to my phone (The glory!). Also, as my conversion to Spotify becomes more complete, I have downloaded the app onto my phone.
The trouble is I still don’t use data. I’ve got the stuff turned off unless I have to remotely clock out of work.
Twice -- and only twice -- I’ve used it for finding my way about. Atlases and compasses all the way, baby! GPS still can’t beat ‘em.
My phone will still tell me when Messenger (which Facebook forced me to soon after it discovered I had an iPhone) does something, but I just have to wait for wi-fi to look at it. And I should say I have to wait until I get home because I’m real skittish about using any other wi-fi.
But for all my fussing, I admit that technology can be useful. The internet is the best thing for reporters; it’s information at your fingertips with the speed of lightening. When the atlas just isn’t specific enough for the backroads, the GPS isn’t bad for pointing out the general direction.
It’s just that I insist on retaining my pre-internet and -smartphone skills, and approaching every new advancement on my own terms. It’s actually kind of fun finding a way to out-smart the smartphone, although sometimes I think it’s not that hard.
Maybe one of these times I’ll go a whole week without the internet or the smartphone. At the very least, it’d make for a real interesting blog. And someday, when we’re all feeling the need for a thrill, I’ll do without a phone entirely and write about that.
It’s a sign of our times that I can’t say with any confidence that I’ll have a job after such a stunt.