Change comes reluctantly to me. If people have tendencies, mine has been that I am a slow adapter – the slightly indignant cousin of slow learner. I bought my first stereo – the kind that played records – about the same time that CDs came out. Today I own a CD player but not an ipod. I bought a great SLR camera together with rolls of Kodak film several years after digital cameras hit the market and my current cell phone has been out of production for 3 years. I use cheques, although I often run out and have to borrow from my wife, and I still don’t use a bank card- a fact that perplexes the financial institution customer service representative, whom I still call a teller.
Upon reflection, my less than cutting edge tendencies have been bred into me. My parents consumeristic mantra was ‘wait till it’s on sale’ -which is a great philosophy for the pocket book but it makes it real tough to look cool in high school. To this day, I am slow to jump on the new toy bandwagon. The one exception I have allowed myself is the purchase of leading edge golf club technology, which has only reinforced my already entrenched belief that new stuff doesn’t always bring the quality of life improvement one might hope for.
With this in mind, imagine my shock and feeling of inadequacy to learn that the Pope – all of 85 years of age – has joined Twitter. Not only do I not Tweet, I don’t fully get the attraction on a personal level. Sure I can appreciate that the immediate spread of information can have it’s usefulness in the business world or the overthrow of a Middle Eastern dictator, but what might the Pope (or anyone else for that matter) have to say in a 140 characters or less that would entice me to pull over to the side of the road and read on my cell phone? Yet, admittedly, I and most of the folks in my own personal social network seem to be in the social networking minority – unplugged. We are the modern day version of the Flat Earth Society.
There are two commodities that most people, including myself,wish they had more of – time and money. If I could rationalize a way that social networking might bring me a greater supply of either, I might count myself among the converted. A quick appraisal of how much spare time I have on my hands, leaves me wondering what I would have to give up in my day to squeeze in some social networking time with people that I haven’t called or visited with in years, or for that matter the Pope. I am left concluding that for the time being, social networking just isn’t for me. Though it is free, it comes at an expense – time. And time never seems to go on sale.
Thanks for reading,