The Luddite Manifesto
I do not 'Twitter'.
The very name itself sounds like a synonym for "incessant, meaningless babble". I cannot imagine anyone, except perhaps my dog, who would find a constant play-by-play of my life, in 140-characters-or-less messages at a time, the least bit compelling. I have yet to find myself in a situation where I absolutely need to communicate a 140-characters-or-less message to anyone, unless that person was in the room with me, i.e. "My clothes are on fire. Please put them out."
I do not 'Facebook'.
I am immediately wary of any noun that suddenly attains verb status. Any one growing up in the ‘70’s remembers this happening with "dialogue", which morphed from a sophisticated way of saying "a conversation" into "using vague terms to dance around important issues, in order to accomplish or decide on absolutely nothing". Now everyone is "Facebooking", spending hours on their personal Facebook page, much the same as folks used to do on their "personal home page", and it’s not the slightest bit more interesting. Since I already keep in touch with everyone I care about, I am not in the least interested in maintaining a Facebook page or becoming the "friend" of people I don’t know or haven’t heard from in years, and I certainly have no desire to keep myself informed on the minutia of the daily lives of such "friends". I received an email through the classmates.com site about a month ago from "Steve". We were basketball teammates in high school, and though we barely knew each other, he wrote to urge me to "get on Facebook, man!!" Yeah, I’ll be sure to sign right up. I have neither heard from nor thought about you in 25 years, but I sure am interested in keeping up with what your favorite breakfast cereal is.
I do not 'Instant Message'.
Want to have a real-time back-and-forth correspondence with me? Great. Pick up the damn phone.
I do not 'Text'.
This is largely for the same reasons as my avoidance of Twitter and IM, with the added rationale being that I didn’t pay for texting on my cell phone plan, and every text I receive costs me money. Also, the texting and IM craze is turning America into a nation of grammatical morons. Every once in a while, someone tells me, "Jerry, you are such a good writer." I used to think that this meant "Jerry, you write interesting things in a thoughtful, compelling manner." Now, I take it to mean "Jerry, in your writing you use elements I rarely see anymore, like words and punctuation." Yes, it’s true: I prefer my written communication to be in complete thoughts, using actual words. I don’t want to know WUD, if MWBRL, if you’re CRBT, or DOS. I have no desire to be LOL, or LMAO. I think the whole IM, Twitter, and text message thing is a CWOT, and IHBTTDOTTJAFDOSAATUTMAWA**.
[**- I Have Better Things To Do Than To Jabber All Freaking Day One Sentence At A Time Using The Most Asinine Method Available.]
I do not own a Blackberry or iPhone.
My cell phone cannot not play movies, surf the web, or play music. At home, I have a TV for watching movies, a computer to surf the web, and a stereo for playing music. If I leave home, it is because I want to do something other than watch a movie, surf the web, or play music. "OK," you would say, "but what if you have to wait in line or in a waiting area...then what?" Oh, heavens! God forbid that I’m not able to watch Braveheart for the 43rd time or retreat into my little world of my music. I might actually have to talk to someone or read a magazine not tailored to my interests that I otherwise wouldn’t read. The horror. If I absolutely must, my cell phone will allow me to access sports scores and movie times, and if I need to go to the bathroom while out shopping, I can play Tetris while sitting on the john. That’s all a man really needs.
I do not own a Playstation 3, Xbox 360, or a Wii.
Once I got married, and was now living with an adult who spends her time at home either a) doing productive things, or b) watching reasonably intelligent TV programs, I felt like an idiot playing video games in my living room. I do, however, own a few other "home entertainment systems": they’re called "books".
I have never played Guitar Hero.
Here’s an idea for all the Guitar Hero aficionados out there: what if, instead of spending hours mastering the video game, you spent those same hours, you know, learning how to play an actual guitar? Might be a bit more fulfilling, no?
Hell, for 4 years, I didn’t even have a radio in my car.
It is possible, and even preferable, for me to drive my automobile, alone with my thoughts, and just enjoy letting my mind wander. I do not recommend this for people under 25 and/or Obama supporters, as their minds are too small to be out wandering alone.
If someone needs to reach me, I have a simple cell phone, an e-mail address, this blog, and a mailbox. That’s all. That’s enough. If something important happens, I know how to get in touch with the people who may care.
Other than my wife, none of these people live close enough to me to do anything other than pray, though in case of my death they may want to know as soon as possible so that they can get a head start on coming up with excuses to skip the funeral.
I eagerly await the development of new technologies, so that I may ignore them too.
Labels: Curmudgeon In Training