No Tech

People often ask me why I’m not on Twitter. You will be amazed to hear that it’s basically my slothfulness rearing its pretty head. The truth is, it takes all of my muselette’s limited creative powers to write this blog. I also try to write a hundred words a day. And I can barely come up with anything interesting for my Facebook status a few times a week. My life isn’t that all that interesting, so it’s unlikely that I could could come up with pithy or poetic bon mots for the Tweeters out there. I may be one of Oakland’s few ennui-related deaths one of these days.

Also, I dislike the high school popularity contest aura of following or being followed on Twitter. I’ve been writing this blog for eight and a half years, and although I don’t currently have a site meter (the Doc is working on that), I have the feeling that my readers are a select and exclusive club, like all the best ones. I’m not interested in trolling for followers or comments, and that seems to be a big part of the Twitter experience.

Twitter posts, emails, and comments from viewers on news sites, such as CNN, appearing on the “crawl” at the bottom of the TV screen instead of the day’s headlines is an appalling development. That’s not news. It’s bad enough that newspapers are vanishing and we’re forced to read them on line, with a plethora of ads ever-increasing in size and number (and difficulty getting them off your screen and sending them back to hell, whence they came), without television news being full of people’s opinions instead of actual news. I’m interested in Anderson Cooper’s views, or Keith Olbermann’s opinions, but not in the opinions of some unknown schmo who probably knows nothing about the issue s/he is commenting about. Leave that to your personal blog or Twitter account and delight your many followers with it. Just keep it off the news.

I seem to be falling behind on technology, despite being a pretty early blogger. I have no interest in iPhones, and marveled at the folks who waited in line overnight to get one of the first ones (and then whined when the price went down the next year). I don’t want to play games on it or watch movies on a teeny screen. I can barely stand having a cell phone, and I use it primarily, almost exclusively, for work. You will not find me walking down the street and blathering to someone about what I had for lunch or what a hideous top Madison was wearing today. It’s a necessary evil which is useful if your car breaks down or you can’t find the person you’re meeting at the movies, and that’s it.

I never text unless someone sends me one. It makes sense to me that my boss will send me one when he’s in a meeting, needs some info, and doesn’t want to talk on his phone or have its ringing interrupt the meeting. But it doesn’t make sense to me to sit there pressing tiny buttons 5,000 times instead of just picking up the phone and calling the person. Or sending a quick email. Either one would be more efficient than texting.

When I take BART to the city, I’m amazed by how nearly everyone is plugged into their iPods, texting away, or on their cell phones. No-one is engaged with their surroundings or even taking the time to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies for the above-ground part of the journey. It kind of makes me sad, like the cars that have DVD players you can plug your kids into on a long car trip. God forbid they should enjoy the scenery, or talk to their parents, or play “I Spy” or try and collect license plates from different states. We used to drive from New York state to Maine (a 12 hour drive if you didn’t stop) and back every summer, and we got along fine without movies in the car. We didn’t have a TV or phone when we got to Maine, either, and we didn’t miss it, even into our teens.

With all these technological advances, though, can someone explain to me why no-one has figured out a way to send your home phone straight to voicemail, instead of having to let it ring? Now, that would be an improvement.