15 July 2011

The first time didn't really hurt so much.

It wasn't as complicated as I had been led to believe by a few smart-ass teenagers. My first Tweet, that is. (Is that what they're called? Makes me think of Tweety Bird, the nemesis of Sylvester.)  Find me at @StephenSwartz1 if you've got a fetish for stupid quips about life.

Today I joined the Twitter generation. Or should that be generationS? Can't be too sure what year I'm living in any longer, what with all these wonderful, new devices, and the strange customs that inevitably come with them.  Oh, when will it end?  Never.  Probably.

I imagine someday we will all stay at home 24/7.  The daily routine will be to roll out of bed and crawl into some lounge chair, feet up, electronics on, and just connect with the world.  Ah! Much like what was portrayed in that sci-fi flick a couple years back called Surrogates (IMDb).  In that film, people stayed home and from there operated robots that acted for them, did their jobs, and were infinitely better looking.  The flesh-and-bloods lived in their pajamas and looked like drained death.

Are we so far from that today?  Profile pics, competition for followers, the "like" culture (Click to "Like"), the quest for relevancy in an increasingly mundane world--all are symptoms of a drastic shift from the gentle innocence of a simpler time when electronic devices were limited to transistor radio and black-and-white televisions that offered us 3 channels (4 or 5 if you had an UHF antenna).  I saw a glimpse of that recently.  Or call it a cruel flick of nostalgia.  The film Tree of Life (Another something to click on!), though it seemed to me too long and slow for what it ultimately portrays, reminded me what it was like to be a boy and play outside, to run and jump, and throw and fight, and swim in a creek, and everything I did before I got my first computer in 1986.

No, I'm not one of those anarchists who want to return to the uncomplicated past.  I love having a computer to type out my novels.  Those of you who lived to experience the endless frustrations of the typewriter know what I mean.  And I liked having MTV in the 1980s, back when they actually played music videos all day.  Now there is more than ever to choose from and yet I find myself choosing "off" as my favorite channel--next to The Weather Channel (Check your weather!).  I don't need the radio any longer, either, because now I can listen to exactly and only what I choose via CDs or, more recently, mp3 downloads.  It is a world of focusing on me, what I want, and I want it now.  And I really, really want to blog!

Life would be so much the better if I did not have to find and maintain some kind of employment to produce, in exchange for decades' long compilation of intellectual fodder and slight physical effort, the suitable financial compensation to enable me to continue driving the "me, all me" consumerism to which I am expected to participate (to keep the overheating economy rolling along), and for which I will be constantly rewarded by a greater range of choices in absolutely everything but DNA.  Not that I wish any of that scenario to change.  Then I would have nothing to blog about.

Or tweet about.  (Did I use that term correctly?)

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