Just finished reading Bob Borson “Life of An Architect” first blog of the year about his experience with blogging. It’s amazing, I thought to myself, that those who are the least pretentious and wonder the most if anybody reads their blogs are often (like Bob and his blog) the ones I happen to read more consistently. He’s got a great personality and it comes through in his writing. He could be writing about the mating rituals of fleas and I’d probably still read it anyway. Paul Anater is another such blogger. He writes the Kitchen and Residential Design Blog. Paul is very prolific (writes at least daily) while Bob –not so much. And then there’s Saxon Henry’s “The Road to Promise” which is so poetic it’s like taking a mini vacation every now and again. The Road to Promise is just one of Saxon’s SEVERAL blogs. So don’t anybody take offense if I didn’t use you as an example or presume that I think any less of you because I didn’t mention you here. Actually not intending to write a 40 page docudrama here of all my favorite bloggers –and there are many!
I recently got an “annual report” from Word Press and was a bit flabbergasted by all the traffic to this blog. I am as lackadaisical, scatter-brained and inconsistent a blog writer as you will ever meet. I can’t spell for shit (thank God for spell check) and my grammar –well let’s not go there. What was more amazing were the most popular posts for 2010 were those I wouldn’t have guessed in a zillion years. I always write about what’s on my mind or what interests ME –never really try to analyze what “my public” wants to read because I’ve just never considered that I actually had one.
As for “keeping up” the title of this blog –I really don’t feel that I’m in competition with anybody –I’m not the competitive type, am the epitome of the “Type B Personality”, and well–I just like to express myself now and then. What the title was inspired by really was recognition of how our communication most recently has changed so dramatically and how ‘social networking’ has become the catch phrase that describes it all.
When I was a young adult just entering the work force about 35 years ago–it was all about the “Information Age” and personal computers had just been invented. I would say we’ve surpassed that now and are well into the Communication Age. In order to be successful in this age, one needs to have a cell phone and a computer. I am barely there. I have a cell phone but I have no clue how to text. It’s not Blue Tooth and it’s not a “smart” phone. I’m not keeping up.
I have two computers in my home office. My kids joke that “Grandma has a computer lab.” They are both desk top PC’s. I borrowed my youngest son’s Mac book briefly while my computers where in the shop. That was a nightmare! I don’t do well without windows and a mouse. I’m not keeping up.
On a recent trip to Disneyland with my family which consisted of five adults, two teenagers and a five-year old. The five-year old was the only one without a cell phone. Of course everybody wanted to do different things. The adults wanted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean a couple of times, the teenagers wanted to do big scary roller coaster rides, and the little guy wanted to see It’s a Bug’s Life all day. Having cell phones to keep tabs and arrange meetup times and locations made it a breeze. In fact, if you looked around about every other person was chatting on a phone. Cell phones have changed the whole dynamic of the amusement park experience. Now when you go on a ride, one of the first instructions they give you besides not to take flash pictures –is to turn off your cell phone.
Actually, I had booked the whole trip six months before online –including flights for those who needed them, our hotel reservations and park tickets. Went as smooth as butta! The printouts of our Disney tickets had a bar code that they just scanned at the entrance of the park. Once you’re in, you’re in. No more buying individual tickets for rides or wearing bracelets. The newer Disney system was relatively stress free compared to my experiences in the past (almost 23 years before). This time I felt I was keeping up –maybe even ahead of the game!
I had an interesting day today changing over all of our utilities and snail mail address to the new place. It was amusing how different agencies (both government and private) use communication technology differently. When I called the electric company, I was connected with somebody who provided a “connection service” for the other services too that were not even the same company. They set me up with the phone and internet (woo hoo I now get FIOS whatever the hell that is!) with one company and cable TV with another. Pretty cool I thought until I had to go to city hall to set up trash, sewer and water. Well that is “government” so you can guess that I was suddenly zapped back into the dark ages and had to que in line for a half hour. Then I went to the post office to fill out a ‘change of address’ card. Now you just get a card that tells you how to do it online.
Another recent system that has changed is The Classifieds… They used to be black ink on newsprint. Now they are called Craigslist and “virtual.” You can look up listings on your computer that have been posted by people using their cell phones. Now I have to use cat litter to line my bird’s cage. Everything you can possibly imagine can be found on Craigslist from a date to a job. Some people have illegally confused the two.
World of the interwebs has become so complex. Recently new laws have sprang up from issues that didn’t exist before. A man was recently sued by his wife because he ‘hacked her email’ and she accused him of invading her privacy. There’s a new law that prevents you from pretending to be someone you’re not. There is new pressure to protect the intellectual property rights of musicians and sites such as Limewire that allowed people to “share” music without paying for it have been shut down.
Keeping up means different things to different people. I’m sure there are many who think they’ve left me in the dust long ago. In some respects, they are correct. I like to think I take from what’s out there that which suites me. I dig new technologies and try to keep up with new stuff even though I don’t always “get” it. It’s a brave new world. I just want to keep up.