Wow, ten people sent me friend requests and want me to be their “B. F. F. ‘s”. I just wish I knew who they are and how they got my Facebook information. Maybe I am old-fashioned but the term friend suggests a more personal relationship than some anonymous email invite! Currently on my third Facebook name since i couldn’t keep track of friends and friends of friends, none of whom I knew, it may work for some people but I personally like to know who (and if it is a who instead of some email ‘bot) I am sharing my personal life with.
OMG, I miss the simple days of keg parties and meeting ‘friends’ at parties IRL. We would exchange phone numbers on pieces of scratch paper and hoped we remembered their names Family Story App. Now, we pray there is no compromising video on Youtube for those moments we forgot and are now shared with the world! Is there an app for that? (I will get to that topic shortly. ) It is amazing to think back as recent as 25 years when cell phones were not so prevalent, and if you wanted to break up with someone, you actually had to do it in person! Imagine the difference in your life if you could have avoided dealing with something responsibly and simply sent a devastating text message instead. (Sarcasm, just another service I provide! ). How nice it is now that there is really no accountability or responsibility and no personal connection.
Does anyone remember Intercom systems in houses? They were great for calling kids for dinner, streaming music through the house, but are now obsolete due to the cell phone. I am guilty of texting or calling my children in order to wake them up (lazy me! ). Intercom systems are just one thing that have become obsolete due to the new technology. Why get a camera or pictures developed? Why go to journalism school when you can become an “I-Reporter”? Why should you buy maps or books when you can get them on your electronic devices? Dictionaries should be replaced with “textionaries” (okay, I made that word up) so you can keep track of the constant changes in Internet texting trends that allow your kids stay one step ahead of you and never need to learn how to spell real words. LOL!
I was tempted to ask my daughter to compose this article completely in Internet texting language and am sure that she could have done it. It doesn’t make me proud but it does make me laugh. I try to look at the bright side and see the positive aspects of these new technologies but think there should be a few apps developed that i would actually find useful. My first choice would be an app which would serve two similar purposes: a PayPal email and phone app which would require anyone sending me Spam email to pay me for the privilege and would also require a deposit to my PayPal account for any and every robotic message left on my phone. While I am still dreaming, how about an app that allow me to charge speaking fees to anyone who called me that i didn’t really want to talk to. I would think five dollars a minute should shut most people up! Better yet, why not have an app that would mess up the GPS directions on a ‘date’ coming to pick up your child that you really don’t approve of? (Never mind, there are enough stories about GPS sending people into rivers without trying to. )
This virtual stuff can be fun. You can really be anyone you want (or don’t want) to be. I would love to pay virtual taxes, have virtual parties with virtual friends (probably cheaper and you don’t have to have a virtual designated driver), pretend that Kim Kardashian and other reality show personalities only exist in the virtual world, and just live that virtual life completely devoid of responsibility and accountability. Imagine how many relationships (a term that Facebook uses far too loosely) would have been affected if we had the wonderful world of Facebook back in the sixties. Think of the mysteries that could have been solved! Live streaming images of Marilyn and JFK! Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
Personally and all kidding aside, I would love to see an app that would make an e-book smell and look like that dog-eared family treasure that has been stored in an attic anxiously awaiting the next grandchild to enjoy. The image of snuggling up with a Kindle or any other e-reader just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard. Some say these technological developments symbolize progress and make lives easier. I just wonder if we didn’t spend so much time fixated on these gadgets and focussed more on the actual world around us, we wouldn’t be happier. (The one good thing about the e-readers is that we are saving trees! ) I can’t help thinking about the release of Pink Floyd’s The Wall Album (yes, album) and corresponding video. There were images of students with blank expressions just marching with no seeming purpose. People are so addicted to their virtual identities that the similarity today is disturbing. To end on an amusing(? ) note, they actually put padding around lampposts in England to protect people who were texting and not paying attention to what they were doing. Get a real life, please!