Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Note on Aging

So a note on aging. Outside of the bullshit physical stuff which everyone deals with once you start getting older. And, to which there is really only way comment: "Fuck! Really?"

But there are the mental aspects as well. Now, in my family we have a decided lack of old men, which sucks a lot. I wish we had some more old men because that would mean that the men in the previous generation would not be, you know, dead. So, when I make this grand sweeping statement about old men, accept that my experience is limited and so I could be wrong. But, here's something I think is a hallmark of old man-dom: an old man may only have the loosest understanding of what it is but they KNOW they don't like it. And don't want to know about it anymore. And you're an idiot because you do like it.

It used to be that kind of philosophy was mostly about music and TV and other forms of pop culture. But nowadays we're living in this era where technological leaps happen every 10 minutes or so, which I think is causing the old man thing to proliferate across all ages and most emerging means of communication.

I was at a kid's party over the weekend where I made the crack "You'd know that already if you would just give it up and get on Facebook!" To which the response was "I don't want to reconnect with my friends from 25 years ago. If I still wanted to know them, I would." And then there was high-fiving.

Laney was tugging on my arm, so there was no time to respond, but I really wanted to! This misunderstands broadly (and I would argue purposefully) the point of social networking. For example, the people I communicate the most with on Facebook from my past are often people I wasn't particularly close to at that time I knew them in the real world. At it's best, it's like going to a party where you hear what people are talking about and find people who you want to talk to. At it's worst, you find out that that fellow you know tangentially thinks racist pictures of the president are hilarious. But unlike being at a party where you'd have to extricate yourself delicately, you can just unfriend and move on.

I'm at the point now where email seems like an obsolete, clunky way to communicate. With social networking, it's like you put something out there for people to pick up if they want to. When you email me pictures of your kid or that hilarious link, it gets all mixed in with the 800 emails I get a day from various political groups and I feel like I have to look at it right then or else I'll lose it in my inbox. I'd be thrilled to relegate email to professional communication only. But, I have people with whom email remains my sole method of communication, because they refuse to join the rest of the world in social networking. Get off my lawn.

The telephone, by the way, is only to tell me that someone is dead. I'm not really sure why I still have one. I can texted for mortal alerts.

To be fair, I do see one legitimate reason for eschewing social networking: you're old school when it comes to privacy. Which I understand even if I think it's kind of quaint.

But to the rest of you old men out there, it's kind of fun to have people on your lawn.

That sounded a lot dirtier than I meant.

Also, up to Chapter 10 on Brooke, if you're interested (pw is brooke!123 )