Once upon a time, I was considered by many to be a legitimate computer geek. An early adopter of technology, friends actually looked to me for technical advice. To be one of the first in my workplace to get a laptop brought me a great deal of pride. And of course, I had a bag phone – the early version of the cellphone that essentially was carried around in a small suitcase. And I loved my Palm Pilot (of course I considered all those “Blackberry people” to be techno-snobs). When the iPhone came out, I jumped on the bandwagon very early. And I was VPNing before it was cool. In fact, I founded a technology startup in the early 2000’s and rubbed elbows with some real geeks. But slowly, almost imperceptibly I began to veer off the cutting edge and found myself outside the of technology’s inner circle.
OK. I admit I am getting oldER. But lately, I’ve been wondering if, maybe, I am actually OLD. Proof? At the top of the list is the fact that I still insist on tucking my shirt tail in – even if I’m wearing a t-shirt. This drives my wife completely up the wall and it certainly does nothing to distract onlookers from the middle-age belly I’m cultivating just above my belt line. And then there is my complete and utter (although mostly unspoken) disdain for common fashion trends like tattoos, man-buns, leggings/Spandex/tights (apparently there’s a difference!?) and men’s suits that are too small. But most recently, it became obvious that my journey to senility was closer to its end than its beginning when I went kicking and screaming into the world of social media. Facebook is ancient news and I am just now wading in.
Oh I first created a Facebook page back in 2009 but I quickly shrank back as instantaneously an avalanche of friend requests and messages fell in my lap. Never did I imagine that innocently answering a few simple questions (place of birth, name of my elementary school, where i went to college, etc.) would be an invitation to hundreds of people from my distant past to connect with me. Within minutes of setting up the account, I was overwhelmed. One after another distant acquaintances wanted to be my friend. There was no way I could keep up with all these people. But it didn’t feel right to REJECT their offer. Frustrated and overwhelmed, I simply decided not to log in anymore. Other than one brief instance of “log-in-quickly-get-some-photos-of-my-sons-wedding-and-log-out”, I stayed off Facebook and poked fun at friends who used it.
Nearly 10 years after launching and then quickly abandoning a personal Facebook page, I’m psyched to jump back in. And not only am I back on Facebook, here I am writing my first blog entry and am dabbling in Twitter. This all comes mostly as a result of needing to keep people informed about what’s going on at our small nonprofit, Six Treasures Ministries (6T). Over the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve discovered that Facebook is a powerful tool to keep in touch with our supporters. And I’ve also learned that I can be “friends” with someone but not REJECT them completely (I can “unfollow” them). Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? And who knows? Soon I may get some of back some of my technology swagger. Stay tuned.