Monday, March 07, 2011

Luddite Love

For some reason, I am wary of new technology. I’m not as bad as my Dad, who once memorably said to me, “What the f*ck is this … YOUTUBE … my students are talking about?” But bad nonetheless. I was among the last in my group of friends to get a cell phone. When I joined Facebook I did so warily, and continued to feel suspicious of it for a few years…at least until I recently acquired a new Android phone a few weeks ago, with instant access to updates, and all hope of productivity was lost.

Oh, and when I got that Android phone? Suspicious! I skittishly followed J around the Sprint store, dubiously testing some of the phones, convinced that there would be some big catch in the fine print that would somehow doom me to a life of indentured servitude to Steve Jobs. Or Bill Gates. Or anyone more technologically-savvy than me, really.

I kept one eyebrow up the whole time I was in the store: “Yeah, see? But what’s the catch, hmmmmm? Will this take naked pictures of me while I sleep and post them online? Will it give me cancer if I charge it too close to my head? What if I accidentally download an infected app that auto-tunes my voice every time I call my Grandma?”

Today my sister sent me an invitation to LinkedIn. Normally when I get these invites I delete them, dismissing it as just one more headache in the making—I was sure LinkedIn was somehow related to the “Acai Secret for a Flat Belly!” and “Mom discovers this one trick for white teeth!” ads you see all over Teh Internets. Years ago I accidentally put my contact information into one of those ads (for a mortgage rate quote), and I was barraged with calls that skeeved me out for months afterward.

Okay, it wasn’t accidental, it was stupid and on purpose, but still. Someone dear to me was also unwittingly ‘signed-up’ for a fee-based ringtone service after completing an IQ test on Facebook.

You just never know. Technology can be dangerous. Because while you are learning to use your new phone, you might also take an innocent but titillating picture of yourself right after photographing the hand-woven basket your sister made you for Christmas and then send the basket photo to your spouse and the titillating photo to your sister with the subject line, “Here’s your basket!”

You just. Never. Know.

Anyway, today’s request had my sister’s approval, so I signed up. Immediately, I was invited to connect with 195 people in one of my email address books. Uh-oh. Should I do it? Should I do it? What would this mean? I didn’t even recognize half the names that popped up.

The reckless side of me said ‘Screw it’ and pressed “Proceed into the Unknown!” I don’t let that side out to play often—especially during the day when there’s no Bottle of Bravery uncorked in the kitchen.

Instantly I started receiving emails from the people I just connected with, indicating that they accepted my connection. I nearly ran and hid under the bed like Daisy does during a thunderstorm.

I have no idea what it all means, and I continue to be suspicious of it. My eye is still twitching. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the Amish compound to have my abacus polished.


  1. Jess, I recently started reading your blog and I love it! I just wanted to say that I am so with you regarding technology. I am a technophobe at times. And it's not so much that I am "suspicious" of it...I just don't want to deal with learning how to USE it! Seriously...who has time for THAT?!? I do NOT want to take the time sitting around reading a manual trying to figure out how to use all the bells and whistles. But alas, I finally broke down and bought a new phone a year ago with a keyboard and now I am a texting fool. Sometimes it pays to take the time and energy to learn a new "skill". However, I will be the LAST person on the planet, I'm sure, to get a "smart phone". I am used to my "outdated phone" now and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Anyway, sorry to carry on...I just loved your post today and could totally relate. Have a great week!! Nan (a new fan in Alaska!)

  2. Hey Nanette, thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  3. LOL. I have to admit, I'm one of those individuals that received your Linked-In invite and accepted.

    I have to admit, I was surprised to get an invite, but really admire your work, so I accepted.

  4. Ha! I love it! :) It must have been kismet.

  5. LinkedIn is the professional side of Facebook. Just networking for jobs and so on. As an author, probably most of the same people. For me? None of the same people, save family. I keep public and private very separate.

    I'm with you on the computers. You know, aside from having a lap top on top of my lap right now, and blogging and commenting and so on. But I was very hesitant to blog, my husband had to talk me into it. Very hesitant to get an iPod (what's wrong with my walkman???), my husband had to buy me one. The next thing he's working on is the eReader. He has the B&N version, Nook. Me? Not interested. Yet.

  6. Hey, I accepted your invite too! Not sure that our professions will ever intersect, but what the heck!