Boom, Boom, Baby!

“You’re a Boomer!” Tex explains to me when I attempt to convey to her the intense strangeness I experienced while recently reading the latest issue of Wired cover to cover. This publication comes to our home courtesy of my parents who got tricked into believing their airline miles were about to expire and instead of letting them go in peace, sicced various magazines on us.

It’s not that I couldn’t understand the articles in Wired. English is my native language, and I am familiar with youtube, with the social media (although I myself neither facebook nor tweet), with games like Farmville (I even played that fruit one once, to the amusement of everyone concerned), I know what apps are, and my hubby’s in business school, so the article about Robert Neuwirth, who wrote a book called Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy was of particular interest. It’s just that everything is moving very quickly, not news to you, I’m sure, dear reader, and it seems to me the generation gap is getting wider by the minute.

My mother told me she read a book recently, set in the 20s, I believe, where the father of the family absolutely refused to use what he referred to as “the instrument”. Every time something really, truly had to be conveyed via the telephone, he would get one of his kids to do it. It hasn’t quite come to that yet with my own boys, but without a doubt it will, especially since I’m so crotchety about it all. I just don’t understand how people can keep all this stuff in their heads. How do you figure out which youtube show you want to watch, let alone find the time to actually sit down and get after it when they’re posting about 500 a day? How do you keep up with all those tweets? Those facebook friends and likes?a Who has the time and the brain capacity? It’s all very puzzling.

As someone who grew up reading science fiction, I am not surprised by the twists and turns our society is taking as it becomes more and more plugged into the machine, but I find that I come just that much short of being able to relate. When I was reading Wired, I felt like I was reading about a completely different culture from my own. Interesting, and I can sympathize with their issues, but their issues are not my issues – I certainly didn’t spend huge amounts of time clicking a cow nor had I ever heard of Tay Zonday (which, according to the article, means I was living off the grid). We are all, of course, human, and contending with human problems, but the way those play out, the props now being used, are so different from my own experience.

This weekend, I was alone in the house. The dog and I took walks, I got a tv series out of the library and watched a couple of shows, I worked on a story, I did some ESL tutoring, I went to church today and sang in the choir, but mostly I just sat around and read. I took a nap. I did get on the email, but I managed not to look at Tracy’s* latest onslaught – I can do that on Monday. Even just that bit of screen was a lot, a time suck, something I had to really work hard at managing so it wouldn’t be the only thing I did all weekend. I’m already exhausted from just managing those 2 screens in my life. Am I missing out on all this other stuff? Definitely. But just as I can no longer eat a whole plate of beer battered onion rings, I really can’t see how I could manage the tweets and facebook and clicking the empty field where once the cow stood and still have enough time and energy and creative juices to write stories and read books.

It’s a very interesting feeling to realize how out of it I am pop culture-wise, after being at the cutting edge for so long in my younger years, when pop culture was to be found in media much more familiar to me. Being media-isolated does leave room for deeper thought, however, and I truly enjoy the studying I’m doing now, reading queer theory and Native American history and smut. The only problem is that I don’t have anyone to talk to about my deep thoughts, ‘cause they’re all doing something online! (Ok, I know that’s not true – book group, anyone?)

*my ex, and the boys’ other mother – she gets a different nom d’ex each post

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Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 5:24 PM  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This one is really a keeper – how do I share it? Can you figure out that for me?


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