ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Markie & new technologies

The purpose of this post is to respond to two e-mails, one of which was a gripe about my having deleted Facebook friends, and the other being an inquiry about going the way of Twitter.

First of all, I will never, ever even consider embracing Twitter. And secondly, I think it’s profoundly imbecilic. I embrace new technologies, but not those of the needless variety.

This texting phenomenon in general flummoxes me to no end. Why would I want to burn minute after minute after minute typing away on a device only marginally bigger than a matchbook when I could simply flip open the cell phone, press three buttons and then wait for an answer on the other end. Sorry, but it’s equal parts counterproductive and stupid.

Here’s some food for thought for you. I’ve been in a very secure facility in the local area that serves as a telecommunications relay point for one cell phone provider that services most of the eastern seaboard. If you put this facility out of commission, the cell phone services that outfit provides over a fifth of the country would cease.

Here’s the fun part: The guy that manages this entire shebang openly mocks the users of texting services provided by his company. He chuckles at their expense, he does. He revels in the enormous profits his company reaps from texting, but he thanks his lucky stars that so many gullible people are willing to pay for a service that is, in a word, his word…unneeded.

In my opinion, Twitter is a bad joke, not worthy of my time and efforts and is a rip-off to boot.

As far as Facebook is concerned, I guess I joined it without really knowing what it was all about. I had two reasons for my entry into that effeminate arena. The first was having another venue in which to share stuff with my kids, one of which lives below the Mason/Dixon line.

Plus, staying in touch with my nieces, nephews and the like. And the second reason was the hope that someone, somewhere would come across my name and help to provide some insights on my father’s whereabouts. That was pretty much it.

I know my dad was married to at least one other woman, so I pictured her or someone within her familial sphere running across my name on Facebook one day, looking at someone else in the room and saying, “Hey, didn’t Uncle Gene have kid named Mark, like, a hundred years ago?” It hasn’t happened yet, that connection. But you never know. And I’d rather die fatherless while knowing that I tried.

But not long after joining, I was being inundated with “friend” requests from people that I had never even heard of before. I think I’ve denied 300-plus such requests. And I still have damn near one hundred waiting for approval. More accurately, one hundred waiting to be denied. If you were originally accepted but later denied, don’t take it personally. It was more a matter of me learning as I was going as it was my assessment of you.

I was complaining about all of the friend requests to my daughter when she pointed out that that’s what people do on Facebook--collect friends. And as many as possible. Well, that’s groovy and all, but I’ll not look back on my life and feel less substantial or less complete as a person because I never quite collected as many Facebook friends as I thought I could have or should have. Nope, that’s not how I’ll judge my self-worth.

And I reiterate, if I happened to pull the plug on our budding electronic friendship, don’t sweat it. It weren’t you. It’s me.

And the invites to be “fans of,” or to join your favorite causes is actually getting quite annoying.
Here’s the scoop: I’ll become fans of your faves, and I’ll join the causes important to you iffin’ you join what’s special to me--the official Frank Zappa Fan Club. Sound like a deal? Are we good to go?

Look, I’m not trying to piss anyone off. It’s just that most of the latest rages and almost all the latest handheld gadgetry is basically beneath me. In effect, I could honestly care less.

In my mind, it’s ain’t no big deal. But since I’ve been called on it, I figured I’d explain the sudden retrenchment.


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