Friday, March 28, 2014

The Ageing Game

Evidently, according to the latest trending stats and social media conversations, no one under the age of twenty-five uses Facebook.  This social media site has now become associated with "old folks", has an "old" look, and, according to the word on the street, is on its way out.  This could be the case.  Nothing lasts forever (not even Mark Zuckerberg) and as younger generations take the reigns of conversation, they are bound to be doing it through different forums.

But hey, you're talking to a guy who still walks 120 yards each morning to stoop on cracking knees to pick up a newspaper along the road.  (I did this in snow, ice, sleet and rain this winter . . . and I cursed every step of the way.)

And now that another study revealed that nearly 50% of people (but more women than men) would answer a text/twitter while in the throes of sexual passion, I realize that I'm not really connected at all.  I mean, if my mother were to call me some evening (I do have caller ID and ignore most) I would simply call her back the next morning and ask, "What's wrong? You gotta problem?"

I'm not connected.  And if there's one thing I've learned in 53 years of life and 30+ years of pastoral work it's this:  Emergencies are rare.  Most phone calls, twitters, emails, voicemails, and text messages are just that . . . messages.

Picking up a loaf of bread is not an emergency (not even if a foot of snow is predicted).  A flat tire is not an emergency.  Heck, if I had a phone call informing me that my wife was in jail, that wouldn't be an emergency either.  If I had a deadline to meet and words to write, I know this:  She's gonna spend one night in the slammer and I would be there the next morning with bail.  What's the rush?  (I hear these jail accommodations can be rather swanky.)

In all honesty, I can say this, too.  My age belies the fact that I really don't care if Facebook makes it or not.  I don't tweet, and by the time I would learn how, something else will be "in" and twitter will be "out".  I don't care if WalMart goes the way of the DoDo bird, either.  

My age belies the fact that someday, one of my highest aspirations is actually to become dis-connected.  Someday, I hope to toss my cell phone in the river, my computer in the lake, and my television over the cliff.  (My wife and I are almost TV-free now, so the latter portion of the triad isn't so far-fetched.)

Some day I hope that my social connections will be good friends sitting on the back porch with a glass of wine, a book in hand, and a dirty pair of hiking boots.  I can holler out the window if I need help.  And I hear that they still make postage stamps.     

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