Tag Archives: Internet

Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose. Duh.



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The evolution of... us.   

 

 

 

The evolution of... us.

Naturally, when I can hear Panic! At the Disco as clearly out of my daughter’s headphones as I can as if it were coming out of the CD player speakers, I turn around and nudge her –

All right, rewind (hey, rewind – that suits our topic – back to that later) since this IS a blog about reality, I’ll tell you “the reality.

First, I will hopelessly raise my voice, even though the “any reasonable person” test would fail. Duh. Why would I even think she could hear me?

Then, despite oncoming traffic, and my meager driving skills, (having spent WAY too much time in NYC, where a car is actually a burden, unless you’re my grandmother, and you have a summer place AND a suburban house – oh, wait, she had drivers, too, scratch that – back to the fact that I SUCK at driving)  I will turn around and raise my voice again, in the incredibly stupid hope that the louder I am, the better she will be able to read my lips.

This is fruitless, because she is not only rocking out, but also poring over the densely-packed Panic! At the Disco lyrics I printed out for her from the Internet before we left, so she’s bobbing her downturned head.

Is her little sister helping me out, with a nudge, or a shove? No. She is observing, amused, because SHE is intelligent enough to see the futility of my behavior, but not the danger — until I turn back to face the windshield and turn the wheel back so that we’re back on OUR side of the highway, thank you very much.

“Mom!” they join in chorus as the van whips them both suddenly sideways.

“Ah,” I say smugly. NOW I have their attention. And: enough with the volume. Turn it down or go deaf.

Personally? I feel completely hypocritical.

I myself blasted music in my own ears as a kid.

No headphones in MY house, though. Headphones were inherently rude. Want to sequester yourself from the family? You’ve got a room for that, dear.

So I’d go. I’d face the speakers toward each other, with room just enough for my head, lie down between them, play my music as loudly as possible without disturbing everyone else in the house, and achieve maximum eardrum damage at the same time.

When CDs first came out, I remember hearing someone tell someone else in our house: “I’M not going to replace my record collection. These compact discs are just going to be fad, like 8-Tracks or Betamaxes.” (Always a lurking observer; like “Harriet the Spy,” I was always listening, and if I was not heard, I was seldom seen, even in plain sight.)

A comment all but forgotten until I stumbled upon a very old cassette (it was Junk Week in our neighborhood) of Jesus Christ Superstar. Thinking my daughter, who is obsessed with Andrew Lloyd Webber (why, heaven only knows; I really have to turn her on to Puccini, from whom the man steals everything), would be interested, I scrounged up a cassette player somewhere and pressed PLAY.

What a tremendous drag, having to rewind and fast-forward to the spot you want to hear!

My youngest was baffled at the clunkiness of the technology, repeatedly asking me: “What… what are you DOING, Mom? Can’t you just FIND it?”

As if she didn’t remember me having to rewind all her “Big Comfy Couch” VCR tapes.

Change is frightening when it comes barging rudely into our lives. We, in this age of technology, are constantly being thrown new ideas, and having to catch them or feel bypassed.

Even TV commercials mock us: “26 million people just Twittered this. Another 26 million don’t know what that means.”

My daughter begged me for an EnV phone, with a keyboard for texting. At the time, I thought it was a ridiculous splurge. Now she texts me so often I want one myself, just to keep up. People text me more than they talk to me.

“Google” is now a verb. MS Word has destroyed my spelling skills, because my brain works like this: if I don’t HAVE to store it, it gets dumped, to make room. Now I know I can Google something, or have Word spell it for me, or my little calculator do math for me.

When my Internet goes out, I’m lost.

But when I first got online, I couldn’t imagine what I’d ever do with it.

Now I can’t live without it. Well, okay, I could. But I sure would miss it.

Still, as different as all this seems: what’s really different?

I use Google the same way I used to call the reference desk at my local library.

I use MS Word the same way I used to use my College dictionary.

I use Twitter the same way I use the world: I’m gregarious to the point of ridiculous; I can hardly leave the house without making a friend, and my house is usually full of people to the point where I wonder sometimes if I’m a magnet and they’re all iron filings.

In a good way.

The French have a saying. (Actually, practically the entire language is sayings; it’s mostly the reason they’d just rather speak your damn English.)

Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Hmmm….

But things DO change. And if you’re looking for a very good, commonsense approach to dealing with change, here’s an excellent article on The Huffington Post from a correspondent/acquaintance of mine: Tom V. Morris – from Twitter, of course.

But remember: they stay the same, too. So relax. 

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Tweets to the Tweet: Tank You, Twitterers, for the Twittergasm.


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Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

For those yet new to Twitter, let me start by introducing a word that I desperately hope makes it into the Oxford English Dictionary as soon as possible: “twittergasm.” Coined by a woman I’ve paged through but can no longer find, thanks to the proliferation of “tweets” on my Twitter page, I find the term charming and titillating – and perfect to describe the feeling you get when something you read on Twitter really works for you.

 

If you haven’t heard of Twitter, then stop reading this right now and turn instead to the page of this blog titled: “Elizabeth Williams Bushey is making fun of you.”

Maybe you’ve heard of Twitter, though, and you just pretend at parties and other gatherings that you know what it’s all about – you know, the same way that you pretend that you know what “CPU” and “RAM” means when people who DO know what it means talk to you about it. You get that faux-confident head bobble, like “yeah, man, I know…”

Maybe you even have a MySpace, but your only friend is Tom. (If you don’t get that, see above: “Elizabeth Bushey is making fun of you.”)

Then again, maybe in reaction to your ignorance, you’ve taken a pretend stand against all this “dang” technology, and protested that all this “social media” really “keeps us apart.”

Maybe you lumber up on top of a soapbox and proselytize for the days of old, when people had to proselytize from real soapboxes, on real streets, hassling flesh-and-blood passers-by, getting arrested by flesh-and-blood police officers.

You poor thing. If you haven’t gotten the hang of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, etc., you’re missing out on some cool opportunities to expand your network of some very cool people you’d otherwise never in a million years meet.

For instance, I just did a “virtual” school visit with a sixth-grade class in Alabama. I’m in New York, but I was able to answer all their questions, see their sweet faces, and play my guitar and sing for them – all from my studio at home. We used Skype, and it cost us nothing. And it was easy – for the teacher, and for me. (I pretty much just sat there, worked in between classes, and waited for the “calls.”)

Via Facebook, I’ve connected with some old college buddies that I haven’t talked to in years.

Via Gmail’s new video conferencing, I can see and speak with people – just like Judy Jetson – instead of devouring minutes on my cell phone.

Coolest of all: I’ve been struggling my ass off to build two sites using an open source technology called Joomla. Everyone in the known universe, every page I’ve Googled, says how easy it is. Somehow, though, despite changing web hosts, even, I haven’t been able to get it to work. Which is weird – since although I can’t do everything really well, the one thing I DO do pretty well is build web sites, and work with software. No matter how many times I installed and reinstalled it, at least one major thing went wrong.

As in, REALLY wrong. Like: the registration page would fail. Something particularly catastrophic like that.

So I called an old friend of mine up – she’s the web diva at a college, and I used to be, which is how we met – only now I’m an artist, and she’s now a SUPER diva. She listened compassionately to my problem, and went straight to Twitter. She has something like seventeen bazillion fans following her on Twitter.

Within the hour, I had at least four or five experts offering me help. People who didn’t even know her personally – let alone ME. I hooked up with this TERRIFICALLY fun guy – who has a charming gift for cussing, which totally works for me. Never would have met him without Twitter.

Talk about Twittergasm.

Talk about social media.

If you haven’t gotten on board yet – you’re gonna miss the train. Wave, though, from the platform. We’ll miss you!

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Filed under humor, life, technology