I used to think that I was up to speed with technology.
As one of the first young people in Australia to own a mobile phone in the early 1990s, I used to try to impress babes with my 3 kg brick—a device that is now holding the left back corner of my man cave in the backyard. I was one of the pioneer customers of Apple’s music download store—a hobby that resulted in a vast library of $1.99 tunes but is now collecting digital dust on the front right corner of my hard drive. Not to brag, but I also embraced online social activities at an early stage. I figured out how to use this WordPress thing all by myself back in 2011. Unfortunately, it took me another year to realise that I actually had to create the content myself (I thought it had an algorithm to produce fake news and I just had to put my name to it).
Despite this impressive portfolio of experience, I increasingly find that I am a target of ridicule. Friends tell me I have been missing out on 20 years of school/university reunions because I have been waiting for the invitations to arrive in my email inbox, while they have been getting shit-faced behind my back thanks to Facebook. When I eventually got onto Facebook, I had trouble making friends. Apparently, I didn’t press the “like” button enough. It was forcefully pointed out to me that I must “like” a post even if I don’t “like” it because “like” means “acknowledging”, and encourages people to “like” me back. This is a problem, as I honestly don’t like most of what I see on Facebook. I mean, who gives a rat’s ass you went to an Italian restaurant and took a photo of your spaghetti marinara? Or that your “new body” selfie doesn’t change the fact that you’re still a narcissistic fuckface? And don’t even get me started on this #hashtag business. What the hell is that? I don’t “like” it.
Thanks to technology, I have also been alerted to the structural changes happening in the dating scene. In my days, you go to a bar or a nightclub, spend a fortune on drinks trying to charm a girl, then spend some more so you can get beyond the first base, only to realise she’s interested in playing the long game, when I’m solely focused on the short. Young people now tell me you can go directly to the home plate if you right-swipe enough on Tinder. And If you happen to bat for the other side, apparently you can do the same on Grindr (which I thought, at first, was a website for hardware tools). How times have changed! When I was young, the only swiping that happened was when I got back home after striking out at the bar—a bit of right-swiping, a bit left-swiping, but mostly of the up and down kind.
All this ignorance has incentivised me to be more up-to-date with technology. I mean, for fuck’s sake, my line of work is related to this whole media, telecommunications and technology crap (at least according to the job description that was given to me almost 20 years ago).
For instance, I started using Uber during a recent overseas family vacation. It not only helped me avoid dodgy cab drivers who enjoy taking foreigners on scenic routes, but also woke me up as to how much taxis have been ripping me off back home.
I also hitched onto the Whatsapp bandwagon during this trip so that I can update family and friends on my two sons’ photo-bombing prowess (my wife is not very pleased that I taught them this). It is a sublime skill of timing and bravado that my 10 and 8-year-old boys have mastered, so well in fact that their faces should soon be ubiquitous in most Chinese tourists’ photos. In addition, I recently bought an X Box gaming console, on the pretence that it was a Christmas present for my boys when, in fact, it was really so that I can play FIFA 17 and Call of Duty. Unfortunately, my boys are kicking my ass so bad in these games that I’m regularly practising on my own late at night while they’re sleeping.
The bottom line is, no matter how pathetic it looks, I’m valiantly trying to keep up. Instead of becoming a #crankyoldman when it comes to digital technology, I’m trying to “like” this whole new social paradigm and tweet my way back to popular culture.
And this blog certainly need to RTFM. Aftr’ll, OMG, writin’ full sntncs is soooo zero chill. JD need be getting dope so his homies and bitches can ROTFLTAO when checkin’ out his sh#t.
Keep on pounding.