Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Whole Lot of Things I Ain't Never Done"

In my previous post, Pourquoi blog?, I mentioned that I am a late comer to the blogosphere. Truth be told, I am a late comer to lots of things. For example, though I have enjoyed and generally not shied away from the benefits of information technology, each and every computer purchased has typically been a year or two behind the state of the art models and has lacked the latest gadgets. Perhaps this is due to my being a cheapskate or, more specifically, because I ask questions such as, “Do I really need that writable DVD drive?”
It even took me a long time to purchase my first cell phone but, when my daughter got her license, my stubborn resistance was overcome by the fear of her being stranded on the highways. But even with my baby steps into the information age, examples still abound where I seem to be the only Neanderthal that has never experienced or acquired any of the following:

  1. I have never used IM or participated in chat rooms. Let me see if understand the concept behind Instant Messaging: it can best be likened to a live email conversation or a computer enabled TTY for the hearing impaired. I guess that’s kind of nifty, but why not just pick up the phone? Okay, okay. Long distance might be an issue. But it amazes me that there are some people who use IM to chat with someone in the next room. As for chat rooms, the closest I have come to chatting on line is with tech-support people, and I did not find that experience entirely satisfying, so I don’t think I will be any more eager to engage in keyboard conversation with total strangers on other topics. Perhaps I unjustly associate chat rooms with the well publicized instances of predators using them to lure their next victim. I suppose there are chat rooms out there that serve a useful, legitimate purpose. If there are, please let me know.
  2. I have never purchased anything on E-bay. Don’t get me wrong. On-line shopping is a wonderful thing. It is environmentally friendly, and I am all for anything that will spare me from braving the local WalMart. But curiously enough, I have never even ventured to E-bay, much less bought or sold anything there. Am I the only one left?
  3. I don’t own an I-pod. I suppose it would be both convenient and entertaining to download hours of audio onto a light-weight pocket-sized device and listen wherever and whenever you like, provided you have an earpiece or decent headphones (My problem is that I am already deaf in one ear and don’t want to take any chances on the other one.) The train to work every morning is teeming with passengers who are oblivious to their fellow commuters (and indeed to the society at large) as they are lost in a world of ambulatory audio bliss. Many have since graduated to audio-video ecstasy with their portable DVD players. To each his own, I guess. I prefer a good book.
  4. My face has never appeared in My Space, Face Book, or anything like it. I’m not even sure what they are, but I suppose they are something like an on-line, personal bulletin board with bells and whistles added. I recently received a few emails generated from people I respect, informing me that they have set up a Face Book profile and inviting me to do the same. I am sorely tempted but haven't yet taken the plunge.
  5. Moving out of the digital IT world and into traditional television programming, I might be the last homo sapiens who has never watched American Idol or Survivor. Enough said.
  6. And here is the most devastating indicator of my backwardness: I don’t even have Cable TV. Our home briefly had cable service a couple of decades ago back when you could get basic programming for about $10 a month, but it occurred to us that we don’t watch enough television to even justify that. Due to the imminent switch to all digital TV, I recently came within inches of allowing Verizon to install Fios, but at the last minute I decided that the extra $50 per month was not worth the privilege of occasionally watching the evening news and Jeopardy. I guess I’ll have to get the converter box.
Don't get me wrong. In principle, I don't have anything against any of the above (except perhaps American Idol and Survivor), but I don't feel terribly deprived to be without them either. As the old Billy C. Farlow song says.

Whole lot of things I ain't never done,
But I ain't never had too much fun.

1 comment:

Letterio said...

No, you are not the only Neanderthal.
Your uncle didn't even know IM stood for Instant Messaging until you told him. As for Chat Rooms, I don't even know how to get inside one.
As for E-Bay, I have never even voluntarily visited it. A couple of times, I literally stumbled into it because I was searching for something but I quickly left it because I don't know how to navigate it.
I don't own an I-Pod although I may soon get one because I got about 2,000 Italian songs that need to be listened to.
I joined Facebook recently (courtesy of your cousin Donna), but I don't quite know what it's all about. Apparently everybody wants to be my friend, and that's OK with me.
I have never seen America Idol, Survivor, Lost, Friends, Dancing with the Stars, and about a thousand other household TV programs because I simply don't watch American TV. I only watch Italian TV, and then only the soccer games.
I do have Cable TV, but only for zia Maria.
And I absolutely detest Cell phones. I don't have one. Zia Maria has one and, I swear, it is used less than 5 minutes a month.
So there!