Lost In The High Weeds

If someone asks me if I know anything about computers I smugly say,”I’m under 30.”

So yeah, I played video games on a Texas Instrument PC when I was 5. I remember waiting 5 minutes between screen shots in Kings Quest. I dialed up punk rock BBs with my super fast 114 when I was a freshman in college. I know was a B drive is. I was on AOL when they still charged by the minute. I was on the World Wide Web before domain names – when the only thing you could find were porn and Dungeon and Dragon fan sites. Yeah, it was a frontier back then. You could do whatever you wanted and NO one would know. Well, none of the cool kids would know anyway.

The dot com boom came before cable modems. I was there, tapping away at my keyboard, thinking I knew things about computers – so what if I never learned how to TYPE properly. I don’t HOLD a pencil PROPERLY!

My grandmother will be 79 years old next month. She took a HTML class at the local community college. She builds and maintains her own website!!! She stood in bread-lines during The Great Depression and she would tell me I wear too much #000000 and I would just say,”Hey, I’m under 30.”

This month marks the 5-year anniversary of my website. I know because I had to re-register my domain name. Suddenly I realized that I am like a guy that uses books as coasters thinking he doesn’t need to learn to read – because he can use a book okay. In short, I realize – I’m a moron. There are 13-year-olds that create Trojan horses in a weekend that can murder my computer and THINK NOTHING of my three column blog!

How can I be a tech fret? My first answer is that I’m a general fret so if I’m using technology – I’ll fret.

My neurosis aside: say you depended on geography. You see yourself as an intermediate to expert in the study. You had seen some rapid changes through-out your life. Then one day you wake up and realized that every day countries changed names and borders. Every time you investigated, there is a corner of the world that was COMPLETELY different. And in those places where things were completely different the people there would smirk at you and ask,”How could you NOT know this? Everyone knows this – dummy.” Then they hand you a manual three inches thick and say,”This will explain everything.” Then when you asked a question they quickly interrupt,”Read the manual – it’s in there.”

“B-but – b-but–”

“Read the manual!”

“But I KNOW A LOT ABOUT GEOGRAPHY!!”

“Maybe yesterday you did. Get with the times!”

This is what my life has been reduced to: A good day is when I don’t have any error messages and tech support people don’t know me by name.

“Yeah, it’s Tina again. Look I still can’t figure out–”

“Did you read the manual?”

“God damn it! Of course I didn’t read the manual! I was TOO busy SOBBING for my own mediocrity *blubber* I’m under 30!”

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