The other day, as I was sitting at the computer my son accused me of being a geek. I am pretty sure he meant it as an insult, but in fact I was quietly proud. My husband, who can only just turn on a computer, can barely send an email and is incapable of reading or sending an SMS, would never be called a geek.
When I was a child, and even later, old people (which at the time included anyone over the far off age of thirty) always appeared incapable of mastering the simplest technical development. My mother-in-law never grasped the heady concept of videos, let alone DVDs, and my four year old daughter would be sent round if granny wanted to watch a film.
If ever I email my parents or send them photos I have to phone my brother to go round, turn on their computer and open the mail, he probably has to read it to them and describe the photos as well if they have misplaced their joint pair of reading glasses, as is so often the case.
Having been welcomed into the world of geek by a trend expert, as children always are, (especially compared to their parents) I've an idea why my son thinks that, apart from when I'm out running I'm usually attached to some screen or other, especially since embracing the world of kindle (guess what K will be for!).
Facebook, joined in 2008 and quickly became addicted to spying on my friends and telling people what I had done with my day. When I am researching or writing up essays I am constantly informed of new emails and therefore notifications concerning any comments on my facebook status. Statuses are a fine balance between being relatively honest – these people know me in real life after all, funny – I don’t want to boring, and not moaning too much – my life is a lot easier than that of some people I know so it would not be fair or even fun to complain all the time. At the same time nothing is worse than some constantly smiling Pollyanna type, who after announcing a broken leg with bone poking through the skin in a deer hunter kind of way comments “oh well, luckily I’ve still got my left one”.
Aware that nothing is more infuriating than the person that posts their every movement and thought , leaving you with dozens of their updates when you take a few minutes in your working day to check out your newsfeed, I do try to keep my comments to the essential, essentially funny or desperate that is. I do have a tendency to use FB as a kind of village hall notice board, and realize friends from other countries are probably not much help in the “who can pick up offspring #2 after school tomorrow” scenario. However, in my defence, it is easier than phoning round a dozen people, and also avoids anyone agreeing to annoying favours because they could not think of a decent excuse off the top of their head.
I set up my twitter account a while ago, the main reason being that, as far as my knowledge goes, this is the height of techno-cool, it’s probably on a par with the pigeon in real technoworld, but for me it’s as good as it gets. I started mainly following news or work related accounts; to be honest I was at a bit of a loss for who would be worth following.
At first it was strange, after all it's not good to follow people where I come from, and it felt strange linking up with total strangers; I really don't think my granny would have approved. However, after the novelty of twitter wore off I began to appreciate it more, whereas facebook lets you spy on your friends, twitter lets you spy on the world. It also proved invaluable for publicising my blog, which in my eyes is the height of technogeekness.
One of the reasons I set up this blog was the technochallenge of the whole thing, and I've learnt an awful lot in a very short time, mainly that there's a hell of a lot of stuff I still don't know how to do if my son finds out I won't be called a geek again.
P.S. How do I put an A-Z challenge on the top of this post?