Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Not Hip

It's time that I face it. I'm just not hip.

In fact, I'm so not hip, that I still use words like "hip".

My friend Jim has made yet another entry about Twitter, mentioning again how he just doesn't get it. And I agree with him. I've gone to people's Twitter pages. I see what it does and how it works. But I just don't get it either.

I'm a hardcore geek at heart. My first introduction to a personal computer was a friend's Apple IIe in the mid-80's, where you would insert a floppy disk and wait a few minutes for the program to load. I was immediately hooked. By the early 90's, I was assembling hardware and installing operating systems on computers as a hobby, and operating a dial-up BBS.

Today, I work professionally in high tech. I build server farms, manage computer networks all over North America, and get to play with racks full of some of the coolest hardware you've ever seen in your life.

I have no problem "keeping up" with the technology itself, or understanding all the possible uses and functions it can provide. But for some reason, I feel like I've reached some sort of threshold of interest in continuing to follow each new technological fad or trend.

It's a wonder that I even have a blog. I only have a cell phone because my job wants me to be available if servers go down after business hours or on weekends. I don't text message, or snap photos with my phone, or browse the internet while away from my desktop computer. When I told my friend Seth that I wouldn't know what to do with an iPhone if I had one, he started telling me how nifty the interface was, and how it was much simpler than I imagined. I had to explain that it's not knowing how to work it that I didn't get -- that part comes quite easily to me. It's why I would want to in the first place. I just can't think of any practical use for it, and I would be creating new things to do, just to make use of it.

At this point someone will no doubt object that "I bet you never thought you'd find a use for [insert some common gadget or appliance I take for granted] at first, but now you can't imagine living without it." And you'd probably be right.

So yeah, this is quite an arbitrary and fuzzy threshold I've reached -- but I've reached it nonetheless. For the moment, I'm pretty content with blogging, using e-mail, viewing photos or watching videos, and occasionally staying in touch with friends and family on a couple of social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook (though I've found that these quickly grow quite wearisome for me).

New things creep into our lives gradually. I don't think we'll even know it when we've become so invested in the use of gadgets that they are driving us, instead of the other way around. In fact, that's probably already happened, and we don't even realize it.


  1. I'm not hip either. I often look at those things and wonder why bother. It all makes me a bit tired to be honest...I don't know why we need half of it and sometimes I think the societal cost is too great.

  2. Yeah, see, what's Twitter?

  3. Amy - Yes, tired is a good word for it. The investment of time and energy seems like it's not worth it to me. Yet I do see people who use all the cutting edge gadgets with natural ease, and seem to blend the adoption of new technologies seamlessly into their lifestyles. More power to them, I have no problem with it. It's just not for me.

    Kathryn - And there are plenty of other things out there too. Twitter is just the tip of the hip-technology iceberg. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. we are alike. i'm aware of the current hip technologies, but don't partake.

    part of it is nobly trying to keep a grip on a simpler life. another part is not being able to afford any of that stuff anyway.

    either way, i enjoy not being plugged in.

    Sent from my iPhone.
    (just kidding!)

  5. Cool Dad - Yes, I'm definitely feeling a tug toward simplifying life, rather than complicating it.

    And I also enjoy not being plugged in. I see people on "vacation" with a cell phone, spending half their time keeping things running at the office. It's like a giant tether attaching them to the world of business (and busyness), and it just can't be cut.