YOU DARN KIDS GET OFF MY LAPTOP!
Why is it that when you hit a certain age, it annoys you that kids are playing in your front yard- especially other people's kids? Stranger's kids.
They aren't really hurting anything. Hell, stomping that grass might slow it's growth, ultimately saving me from having to break out the riding lawnmower and all the intensive labor that would follow. Like steering. And working the pedal.
Maybe it's the noise? It bugs me when I hear car doors slamming outside, or cars driving by. Which is weird, because when I was stationed overseas, planes were always taking off, all day long, and I completely tuned it out.
Is it like super-powers? Does age grant some kind of cosmic awareness that replaces the obliviousness of youth? Coupled with hyper-irritability?
I know something that irritates me. Twitter.
Here I am, only 41 years old, and Twitter really bugs me. Not because I'm a technophobe. Or a grownup. I'm neither. I play Xbox, I carry an Android Developer Phone and have been using computers since the Timex Sinclair (that's pre-Commodore 64 for you wannabe geeks). I email regularly. Obsessive-compulsively, in fact. As soon as I get an email, it's like someone knocking on my door and I have to answer. Same with my phone. Damn texting.
But I don't get Twitter. Heck, I don't get Facebook or Myspace either. What's wrong with reliable bulletin boards- BBS is what we used to call them in the heady pre-Al Gore-invented-the-internet-days.... Heck, even those Yahoo Newsgroups are okay.
Whoops, it's been five minutes since my last Twitter, hang on a sec...
Yeah, I'm Twittering. I feel like Billie Madison, back in kindergarten or something. I know, lots of old people Twitter. Brent Spiner for example. I sort of get why kids like to hear what Ashton Kutcher is eating or flushing at any given moment, but Brent Spiner? Data? Do kids these days even know what Star Trek: The Next Generation is?
Call us crazy at MTW, but we decided that maybe some Twittering would be good for us. Get the old creative juices rejuvenated with some hip, young Twittering. Or e-rambling, as I like to think of it.
"Burp. I burped."
"Tasted that chicken from lunch."
"Lunch was two hours ago. When will I have to potty?"
"Uh-oh, teacher sees me..."
You get the idea- Twittering is just random drivel. Thoughts people too lazy to say "please" and "thank you" punch into mobile devices with obsessive zeal. Observations and reflections that should have been left to their inner voice. Assuming they have one. Those kids are getting louder day by day, you know.
The worst thing about Twitter though, is the mobile-phone connection. Not only does it allow you to ramble out loud on the internet, via your cellphone, like deranged, demented elderly people in nursing homes, it also allows you to hear other people rambling. Better have an unlimited texting plan though- some people can't shut up. They feel compelled to comment every five seconds. Heck, since I started this article I've Twittered over a dozen times.
It kind of reminds me of Phillip K. Dick. He wrote this great book (those pressed, wood fiber sheets with letters, that don't require batteries or cellular service to read), entitled "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" I wonder if electronic sheep dream of androids. Android phones. All these folks Twittering are like sheep. E-sheep, standing around in the virtual world of the web, bah-ing occasionally to no end. And of course, to Twitter, you need a phone. And Android is the freely-distributable OS for cellular phones put out for Google.
There. See how easy that was- that was a Twitter-like line of thought. In Twitter speak, I'd have said it like this:
"Bladerunner. Good movie."
"Bob has an Android G1."
"I like iphones."
I know, a lot of info left out of the Twitter stream of consciousness. But kids these days are too lazy. I mean, they have abandoned blogging and the deep, soulful reflections full of prose and wit and replaced it with... twit.
Really though, I should embrace Twittering, because it is close to caveman speak. Simple exclamations, short on durations, conveying meaning.
It's like e-grunting. Beat that, Twitter!
NOTE: Come see me at www.twitter.com/troglodad and read for yourself how uncool and old I really sound.