Day Late, Dollar Short
[Why Technology HATES Me]
By Jeff Salter
In a loose sense, we’re blogging about technology this week. How it’s so difficult (and expensive) to get caught up… and so easy to suddenly lose ground again and get left behind.
In a more specific focus, we’re talking about the impact of social media on our lives and work. But before I address that particular topic, let me lay enough foundation for you to understand how technology and I really don’t get along.
Decades after phonograph records had peaked (but I didn’t realize it), I finally had opportunity and resources to join a “record club”… and quickly built up a nice-sized collection. Just in time to learn that music would no longer be produced in that format… and our record player had finally bit the dust.
I slowly re-built some of my music collection in audio cassettes… certain that THIS was the technology I could bank on for a long future. Uh, nope. They died nearly as soon as I’d made significant investments in cassettes and the appropriate player/recorder.
For the most part – except for a few gifts from other people – I have refrained from making a THIRD attempt to build a music collection on CD. My reason? As soon as I make that investment, they’ll come out with some sort of musical bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll play/sell music on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that.
Same thing happened to me with videos. My brother had invested in a BetaMax video player and numerous video cassettes in that format. I wisely stayed out of that format war brouhaha and waited until VHS was firmly entrenched as the national pastime. So firmly entrenced that, yes – you guessed it – as soon as I joined a video club and got scores of my favorite movies, the industry had suddenly dropped VHS and jumped on DVD.
I had scarcely bought my first “regular” DVDs when Blue-Rays came out.
I refuse to buy any Blue-Rays, because as soon as I do, they’ll come out with some sort of video bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll play/sell videos on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that. I think they call it “streaming”.
I’ve sent and received a LOT of e-mails. Where I used to work, some people called me the “e-mail king.” [It was NOT a compliment.]
I’ve pretty much used whatever email service was provided by whatever internet hook-up that I had. Some have been pretty sorry, too. People often ask me why I keep on using a sorry email provider and I reply: “Because it’s so difficult to switch to a new one and get everybody (and every account) over to that new address.”
Smart and Semi-Smart Phones
I love the convenience of a phone I can take with me.
I hate the interruption of a phone I carry with me.
I loved the ease of use of the old push-button desk phones.
I hate the confusing, user-unfriendly steps required to perform simple cell phone functions like “call” and “answer”.
Don’t get me started on “auto-correct” messing with my text messages.
Okay, I finally arrived at the actual topic, but it was important for you to know (first) how poorly my luck has been running with respect to technology.
I didn’t join Facebook until Jan. of 2009 and didn’t really get rolling with it until – yep, you guessed it – people started bailing out because FB kept changing the rules, messing with the feeds, selling our info to advertisers, and throwing so many ads in our faces. Now most of the folks who remain on FB only do so for the reason I do — we’ve already invested so much time and energy that the though of starting over (elsewhere) makes us weep.
I’m a “member” of GoodReads, but still don’t know what I’m doing and consequently spend very little time doing it there.
I resisted Twitter until a few months ago when I became convinced that all the hot info was moving along those avenues instead of on FB. I still don’t know what I’m doing on Twitter, but have already learned enough to feel that I’m basically wasting my time and somehow all I’m accomplishing is becoming a potential buyer / user of somebody ELSE’s products or services.
As one of my author friends described her experience on Twitter: “I joined Twitter to promote my books among potentially interested readers. But 99% of my contacts are other authors who are doing the same thing — namely, trying to interest me in THEIR books.” And that pretty much sums up my Twitter experience so far.
I don’t know what medium will face us when Facebook finally runs off everybody and services like Twitter get so knotted up in changes that nobody wants to bother with them anymore. I suspect it will be some sort of communicating bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll send / receive messages on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that.