beeps and burps


The video above starts with the woman asking her father how he’s getting along with the new iPad he was given recently. He answers that it’s just fine while he finishes cutting vegetables on it, rinses it off, and then loads it into the dishwasher.

Have been hearing a lot of noise from luddites lately. It’s understandable. Technology isn’t always easy to get accustomed to.

And rather than admit that it’s difficult or frustrating, it’s easier to say, ‘Why do I even need that newfangled gadget?’

The iPad? You don’t need one. You really don’t. It’s just a lot of unnecessary hype.

Unless you’ve actually used one. Then it’s an entirely different story.

I’m curious why I take to certain social media so easily (and so whole-heartedly) and not others. Nothing about MySpace attracted me. I had a lot of friends who did it, and it was certainly a place where musicians could display their work. But it looked somehow childish to me. Not childlike – childish. Definitely not in a good way.

Facebook? It was exciting at first. There were so many people with whom I thought I’d never be in contact again. For the first while, I was there all the damned time. Now? Not so much.

I really enjoyed StumbleUpon at first, and always think to myself, ‘You found such interesting sites with that one – you should go check it out again…’, but then I never do. And tumblr is something I heard people rave about for so long. I set mine up, and then couldn’t figure it out. So it lay dormant for half a year or so. I’ve since decided to put photos of my dogs Ella and Louis there. I suppose I’m using it a bit like flickr was intended.

Oh, I have flickr, too. And audioboo. And have just started using Storify. I really like it. There are times when I’ve had wonderfully bizarre conversations on one of the above-mentioned sites, and I’ve wondered how I could even begin to explain to an innocent bystander how that online conversation got to the ridiculous conclusion it did.

What led someone to suggest making a whole week of Sneaky Fucker posts? All the Twitter mentions of Sneaky Fucker Week? Where could those be assembled? Well…that’s what Storify appears to be for. Little did the creators of Storify know that they could’ve potentially be such an important part of the history of the internet. If only I’d known how to use that sight when all the Sneaky Fuckery was going on.

But I find myself pondering all of this and those luddites I mentioned at the beginning of all this. They have a point, you know. When I try explaining some conversation I’ve had, and setting up the scenario takes half an hour, because I have to explain who HazelBlackberry in Perth, Australia is or why ‘You don’t know my life‘ can send me into hysterics…when that happens and they cock their head and look at me like I’m a madman, they have a point.

Another thing I didn’t get into was Second Life. It seemed so ridiculous to me. Wait, you set up an avatar and could play a character and buy things with money that only existed there? When folk don’t understand social media, I try to remember how both MySpace and Second Life were incomprehensible to me.

There are all sorts of little beeps and burps that some sites use to tell you about what a friend just said about you on Facebook. Or Echofon whirs when there’s a mention on Twitter. Don’t even get me started on Tweetdeck and/or HootSuite. The idea might be great, but the constant cacophony whenever I have either of them open nearly makes me murderous (before you tell me you can mute all of those things, I’m well aware of that – I’m trying to make a point).

Recently heard someone ponder what sort of endorphins might be released when we get such audible signals. That someone out there in the universe that is the web has gone out of there way to tag me in his quest to conquer Farmville. Someone else has written a new blog that a few months ago I’d have written in an RSS feed at some point in the next few days, but today? Today, I get an alert on my phone. My phone buzzes, I salivate, my hands go digging in my bag or under the pile of newspapers that I’m neglecting because I’m reading the latest about someone buying Mashable for some astronomical amount of money. That vibrating phone means someone out there wants my attention.

And I, by God, am going to give it to them.


  1. My thoughts on social media are well-documented, so I have nothing new to add, really. Much. MUCH. Let’s not get crazy, I’d probably be dead if I didn’t have SOMETHING to add.

    I was one of the Luddites for the longest time. I wasn’t on a single social media site until November 2010. Nothing. Oh, no, wait, I signed up for MySpace but then logged in twice and promptly forgot it existed, so that barely counts because the layout gave me a headache.

    I was petrified of the whole thing. I had no interest. I couldn’t IMAGINE what people were doing online all the time, talking to *gasp* STRANGERS and *gasp* SHARING PERSONAL INFO ON BLOGS.

    Need I go on? Nah. Probably not. We all know how this turned out.

    In conclusion: social media = the best thing that’s ever happened to this socially-awkward chick since she learned how to read at age 2.

    (And Sneaky Fucker Week RULED the internet. UTTERLY RULED. I think that might end up in my obituary someday.)

    I do have to say (I KNOW I said I was done, I THOUGHT OF SOMETHING ELSE) that tablets like the iPad (is the iPad considered a tablet, or a notebook? whatever it is) hold little-to-no interest for me. I want a tactile keyboard with the happy clicking sound. I like the feel of keys. Even though my phone doesn’t have a keyboard, and I like it just fine, if I’m typing something more substantial, I want actual keys. Should I rethink that, I wonder?

    1. i like the keys so much i bought a netbook partly because of good reviews of the keyboard – there’s even a way of describing how the key feels under the finger; good ‘travel’

      as for social media, i’m terrible for wanting ALL THE THINGS!!

      and cherish the fact that just saying “all the things” can be funny. the internet is perfect for in-jokes.

  2. I have a laptop and a smartphone, but I am salivating over a tablet, (asus, not iPad, I have a perverse aversion to Apples.) I don’t need it, but I suspect I NEED it. I have a blog, Facebook, Twitter (and Pinterest, sort of,) but they are in equal measure enriching and complicating my life. I love the people and the interchange, but time is finite. I have cookies to bake, and family to tend to. No going back, though, short of the apocalyptic EMP.

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