Month: December 2010

Over the Curve, Already?

Eeeek! Am I old?

I mean, not in the biological, “closer-to-the-grave” sense, but in the social, technological, “closer-to-my-Mom-who-can’t-handle-email” sense^1?

This was never supposed to happen. I am a child of the late 80s; I grew up with computers, cable, and internet. I’m all about FB and social-networking and e-learning and wiki-schmoozing; I rock with the fads and I’m a quicker adapter and I will never be a befuddled geezer. Right? I – indeed, my generation – has grown up with the value of learning, and so I know the inevitable grow-old-lose-touch would surely not affect me. I mean, of course it’s always happened, but the world has never had kids grow up in and into the information age. Since our prime ability is indeed learning itself, we’ll always be hip; We’ll always be ‘with it‘. Right? Please?

Well, perhaps not. Reading an article the other day about iPads, iPhones and all the amazing apps that are sure to turn your boring old mow-the-lawn life into the best thing since e-sliced bread, I couldn’t help but thinking “Meh! Who’s got time for all these noisy nuisances? Silly toys for silly people.” I’m a busy person with a busy life; I don’t need this New-Age techno-junk. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m ‘out of it’. I’m super-technically-savant. I email, text, knowledge-manage, dropbox, collaborate, I dodge, I frolic, and I even know why “while {(*dest++ = *src++)}” copies a string. I am avant-garde, and these silly kids with their silly toys are simply over-doing it.

But it appears – practical validity and empirical popularity of iApps aside – that there are more and more of these toys (or, and just to prove my previous point, there are MOAR and MOAR and OMNOMNOM). I recently stumbled across video presentations of improvements made to Google Docs and Prezi.com (both worth the watch), which are meant to be, in a nutshell, The Next Powerpoint.

The Next Powerpoint? Why would anybody need a next powerpoint? I thought that you were cool if knew how to use powerpoint, and knew how to use it well. I mean, have you seen the Office 2007? It’s amazing. It’s beautiful! So I’m familiar with Google Docs and sure, collaboration could give you the added value. And I’m sure there are lots of nifty other gizmos out there for getting your message out in a visual manner. But if I actually have a task I need to do well – I know my good ole’ Office gets the job done. I’m not going to fiddle with any new website, and I’m certainly not going to trust an “App”. On a related manner, all the apps for faster-typing seem like just another Dvorak to me – amusing idea, but I’m’a stick to my Qwerty anyhow, thanksverymuch.

All the evidence seems to be bunching up against me. New apps, new software, new hardware, new conventions. Growing up in the technological age, in the Information Revolution and other era-buzzwords, has not vaccinated me against losing grip of what’s new, trendy, and most importantly – technologically novel. It has certainly given me better tools, and my decline will (hopefully, and presumably) be slower than previous generations’. But the bottom line is the same – my generation has their conceptions of what is New and Good, and we will forever be enshrined to that baseline. Phonographs of the 40s are the mp3s and iPods of the 90s: It’s damn good, why would I need anything else? To stress the point, why would I need Twitter when I’ve already got FB? (Don’t answer this, it’s a rhetorical question)

I’m gonna give it a good fight, but sadly – or perhaps not so sadly, for such is the way of the world – Father Time is strong than I. Time will pass, and a day will come when I too will grow ‘old’.

Or perhaps there’s an App to counter that. Hmmm.

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P.S.

1. Actually, my Mom handles emails and texts just fine. It’s just to convey the point.

2. In the interest of brevity – as always – one must draw the (text’s) line somewhere, but the case could of course be made to the contrary. Mega-flops which drew amazing “this-is-the-next-big-thing” gasps such as Google Wave & Buzz must disillusion anyone into a healthy amount of tech-cynicism.

 

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