Monday, February 8, 2010

Ramblings from a disconnected human being

I read (part of) a book about those who grew up with technology at their fingertips. The author (who I would love to mention right now if I could even remember the name of the book) called them (us?) "The Net Generation." Maybe he wasn't the one who invented the term, but he is the one I stole it from.

(I gave in and Googled it... the author is Don Tapscott and he wrote "GrownUp Digital" and "Wikinomics.")

(I am done with parenthetical comments. I will start this post over again for clarity.)

Don Tapscott of "GrownUp Digital" and "Wikinomics" calls us the Net Generation. We are the group who grew up with technology at our fingertips, never knowing what life was like before computers, internet and cell phones were part of everyday life.

I am on the older end of the Net Generation. I remember computers before the internet existed. During computer lab we used Mavis Beacon to learn how to type and we played Oregon Trail using the arrow keys. The first cellular phone I saw required a brief case. Then my mom had one installed in her car and it had a cord attached to it. We called them "car phones." When I turned 16 I got a cell phone "for emergencies only" and texting hadn't even been invented yet.

When I was in high school there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no MySpace. But we did have Yahoo chat rooms where hundreds of people just "talked" to each other. It reminded me of the telephone party lines that my mom used in the '70s and today chat rooms seems about as archaic as telephone party lines.

I was the first wave of the Net Generation, the adolescents who learned how to use and transform each new piece of technology that came to us. But why this blog today?

Because I left my iPhone at home.

I feel cut off. I feel lost. What if someone sends me a text? What if my mother calls? How will I read Facebook status updates? How many people are waiting for my move on Words with Friends? How I am supposed to keep track of my calories without an iPhone app?

I may be on the old end of the Net Generation, but boy have I embraced all that it stands for. I like to believe that I am beyond the obsession with all things technology, but the reality is, I am not.

[Insert dramatic voice here] So for today I am living a simpler life. I have only a landline telephone and superfast internet connection (with Facebook blocked) to get me through. I will try to survive using regular email and communicating with people however we did that before texting. And when I get home I will rush to my beloved iPhone and look for all the texts and missed calls, and alas, the irony is that likely the only thing on my screen will be a missed call from my office, when I called myself to find my phone...


  1. Leaving my iPhone at home all day would incite a panic attack the likes of which the world has never seen.

  2. Our first computer at home was a Commodore 64. Word processing and a dot matrix printer...and it cost my parents over a thousand dollars. We thought it was AMAZING. I didn't touch the internet until high school, and my first cell was a car phone. I SO know what you're talking about.

    And if I leave my phone and can't text? It's like someone has cut off a limb.