Monday, February 17, 2014

The Dinosaur Age

Online, appearances can be deceiving.  For example, I'm not new.  In fact, I'm old.  Older than younger.  More than halfway to dead.  Someone recently referred to me as a Renaissance Man.  The Renaissance happened ages ago so I think they were really just cleverly calling me an Old Man.

I should've seen it coming years ago when technologies overlapped and I was in line to purchase some last vinyl records at the record store, when the kid behind me in line asked, "What are those?" I replied, "Records." To which he said in all seriousness, " listen to them once and then throw them away?"

One thing I'm certainly not is new.  I'm pre-PC. I'm pre-digital.  I'm pre-cable TV.  I'm Mr. Analog.  I grew up listening to transistor AM radio, watching 3 channels of black & white TV, talking on a rotary phone tethered to the kitchen wall, and playing vinyl records.  45's, 78's, and 33 1/3's.  I'm far from new.  I am a dinosaur.  But don't expect my extinction anytime soon.  I have adapted.  And I have a context that new people don't.  Dinosaurs once ruled the world.  Perhaps they might again.

I seamlessly listen to mp3's on my iPod, or to cassettes, CD's, and even vinyl LP's.  I play the original Coleco Vision, Atari, and Nintendo game systems I grew up with but can hold my own in any computer generated medieval bloodfest.  I type on a manual Royal typewriter.  That means ribbons, white out that isn't a liquid, and a return that is an actual handle.

While a relative newcomer to social media, I'm battle-hardened from my experiences in various forums, but even more so by in-the-trenches interaction of actual human contact.  All of which pre-date social media like FB or Twitter.  It's somewhat amusing to me to be "advised" or even outright threatened on these new virtual outlets.  It astounds me what people will do or say electronically that they wouldn't dare dream of in-person.  That is not a recipe for survival.  I wonder how long until the evolutionary cycle of social media relegates it to the rotary phone scrap heap and where all the self-important experts with no context will wind up?  At the lightning speed technology advances, the answer may turn up before the end of this post!

No, I'll never quite be new again.  I'm weathered.  I'm seasoned.  I've been through the fire.  Heck, apparently I've been through the Renaissance!  Yes, I am in fact, a dinosaur.  Once a flesh-eating T-Rex, but now just a lumbering, plant-eating Brontosauras.  But have you ever seen the swath a Bronto cuts?  Old just might become the new new.

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