The Dinosaur Discovers Face Book

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  1. #1

    The Dinosaur Discovers Face Book

    For those of you that have had technology since Pre-K, possibly...prenatally electronic gizmos are nothing new. My generation took automobiles and television for granted. Yet our parents could remember when neither existed beyond someone tinkering with them in a factory or lab. Now I also know I'm a touch more luddite than average. There are zillions of seniors whipping around with their smartphones and reading tablets, probably going home to their smart homes, and I tip my hat to them.

    I think part of it certainly is based on ability. Also being able to remember codes. So very many codes...that have to be the proper code or you can't do what you need to do. So at work you have this code to get in the register, this code to get on the company computer, this code added to that code to get into the training module, that code when you want to goof off and look at your tracker dashboard, this code to open the electronics that contain the reptile tanks, the second sets of codes for your second job.


    As we age our cognitive abilities get rusty. The classic "I came in this room for a reason" isn't a joke. Really...sometimes it can take three return trips to get out the door in the morning, just remembering basic daily crap. So some of us hold dear our favorite writers and artists who fought the system. One of my favorites was Civil War historian Shelby Foote. A complicated man with an uncomplicated writing style. If you ever read "Shiloh" or picked up one of the war volumes...those were hand written. Not even a typewriter although perhaps he had assistants that typed notes.


    Imagining such immense tomes being handwritten. It takes your breath away with admiration. Writing and researching to the extent he did even full techno would be a several decade task...but handwritten...carpal tunnel syndrome much? I didn't learn simple Word until my mid-forties. Composing a term paper in my Dad's day with the benefit of a typewriter...cultural reference-a typewriter was a manual keyboard that you fed paper into. The keys would jam regularly and you had to paint on a nifty white liquid to blank out an error. My Dad churned out papers from Sophomore year to his Doctoral dissertation literally cutting and pasting and retyping actual sheets of paper.

    So we've come a long way. Just last night I realized just how far. One of those minor, inconsequential, "Ah Ha" moments. There is this rather distasteful creation called Face Book...I'm sure some of you are aware of it...Heeheehee. Dear God, I had no idea. The only reason why I ventured there was for my dog. He requires expensive surgery and for him I could go to places where I have never gone before. Suddenly alien concepts were rolling off my tongue " Crowd-Funding" "Crowd Sourcing"...understanding that if my son has X friends and they each have X friends and each one of those friends has X friends and each of those...

    One person electronically connected worldwide to more than the population of South America...hopefully with some finding it in their hearts to donate towards one crippled canine. But last night after a very long day and a bit into my cups I got adventurous. There are people and whole decades I'd just assume forget. On AARP some people wax poetic about school reunions. My school years can be summed up in one book... "Carrie". Okay seeing a former cheerleader as an obese fast food waitress was rewarding but those years were a horror. Nowadays they've finally realized that bullying can be traumatizing, what did they think then? That it was character building?

    You just tried to hide, stay out of the bathrooms and got used to being shoved into lockers. Needless to say no I will never be attending any lovely class reunions, I hated you then and I hate you now.
    But there was one exception

    Seventh grade and a year older than my classmates, socially awkward and shy, already developing impressive breasts yet counter attacked by acne, fuzzy hair my Mom was helpless to style and no sisters or girlfriends to help things along. Nowadays you can wave your nerd flag proudly. Quiet and bookish in those days made you an object of scorn. Mike had longer hair than anyone in 7th grade. Italian, cute in a David Johansen (ie New York Dolls) sort of way. I was a music dweeb and always will be. For as attractive as I found him I wouldn't dream of talking to him. I just wasn't worthy. Besides just having him in the same class, the same hallway, breathing the same air was all quite enough. And he didn't join in ridiculing me...in fact a passed note or jab from one of the other boys and he silently defended me instead.

    Fast forward and it's weeks before the end of ninth grade. I worked up the nerve to speak a complete sentence to him..." Would you see The Rolling Stones with me?" and he said yes...if that wasn't a Judy Blume moment...and he gave me his phone number...I probably still have that scrap of paper somewhere. At the end of the day my brother couldn't get the tickets and when I called the number they said Mike had moved in with his sister. Apparently his parents divorced and he left the area...leaving me to endure three more years of high school. Of course by then I had morphed and we all started real life after graduation. But I always remembered Mike over the years. Especially when my own daughter's mooned over the latest cute guy...and held his hand...and they walked together...and sat together on the bus...heady stuff there.

    So somewhat cross-eyed last night I keyed in Mike xxxxxxx on Face Book. A unique last name coupled with the first name...same face, dark hair and sporty beard...Mike at forty years on. Just left a brief note, did you go to that school and are you who I think you are? If you aren't disregard...if you are, thank you for so very much and even if the pic isn't recent you look better than ever...special thanks to Judy, Stephen and Keef

  2. #2
    This perspective is something I need to keep in mind when I get frustrated with my mom’s lack of tech-savvy. Lovely story and I love how it all ties in together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
    Thank you for the perspective. One day I will be a dinosaur too. I'm 21 and a whiz at technology, but I dread the day my kids make fun of me for the same thing I make fun of my dad for, that is technological incompetence. I hope the man you messaged is the man you remember, chances are that it is.

    I almost wish all this technology was never made.

    Also, a friendly heads up: FaceBook is one word, written exactly as I just wrote it(:

    Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk

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