Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Half a geek is better than no geek

There was this strange Monty Python sketch about "Eric the half a bee." It started out (I think) with someone wanting to get a license for his pet fish, Eric. But -- I can't remember -- either Eric was dead or they didn't give out fish licenses. For some reason there was a problem, but the gent really wanted a license of some kind, so he caught a bee and wanted a license for his pet bee, but then, somebody squashed the bee, so then it was half a bee. Really, all I remember is the half a bee part.

I'm half a geek. Here's how I know. I used to be a geek. I love technology. I've been using the internet since 1992, before Al Gore even invented it. I've owned 10 computers, and that doesn't count those that were or are only used by my children or my husband, nor does it count the 2 netbooks I own. See, I'm a geek, I have a netbook. I also have 3 working mp3 players (no, none of them is an iPod). I'm typing this on a laptop that's hooked up to a 2nd monitor on my desktop. Beneath the desk is a desktop computer -- if I were to take the laptop on the road, someone could attach the monitor back to the desktop computer, plug the USB keyboard into the USB hub and grab the mouse that's stuck at the back of my keyboard drawer and the desktop computer would be right there, ready to use. Do all of these things prove I'm a geek?

But I have to admit something. I'm totally confused when it comes to Twitter. Well, not totally. I signed up. I followed a bunch of people. Actually, a bunch of people followed me, too. People I don't even know -- the most recent one was Jim the Realtor (not his real name). But, except for once when I entered a contest, I have not ever "Tweeted." Not only that, I'm not sure what all of these things are: @ message, RT, these strange # codes. I don't know what they mean and I don't know how to do them. All I do is follow people and see what they're up to. If I want to say something, I go to Facebook. Or if it's something longer, I can come here and blog.

I knew the first time I had to ask one of my kids how to do something complicated with the DVD player or the computer that this day would come. I'm losing my geek cred. I'm over the hill and fast approaching the state that I used to laugh at my mother for. The state of being technologically clueless. My son left the browser in full screen mode, and I had to ask him how to get it back to normal. I brought up the program guide on our TV and it only listed certain favorite channels -- not only did I not know how to get the rest of the channels but I didn't know we even had that function nor how to set it up. Now that we have several hundred TV channels, I have to ask my family the numbers of my favorite channels because I keep forgetting. I spent 15 minutes the other day looking for a way to share a link to a website on Facebook. My kids can figure this stuff out without even looking it up, and yet I remain unable to do or remember more and more things that have to do with my beloved technology.

I'm getting old, and technology is leaving me behind. I'm not going to give up. I'm only going kicking and screaming, but believe me, my mother is laughing at me from heaven because I used to make fun of her when she couldn't figure out how to run the VCR.

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