I'm now 62 years old, and my status as a curmudgeon notwithstanding, I have come to the conclusion that I am anti-social.
Oh, I greet people at church; I wave at my neighbors; hey, I even had a conversation with a stranger in Target about the embarrassing fall I had taken that left me with a black - no, make that multicolored - eye.
But when it comes to social networking, I can take it or leave it, mostly the latter. I suspect it's a generational thing. I am old enough to remember shared telephone lines - a far cry from carrying a phone in my pocket and sharing my thoughts online.
I'm fine with email. I appreciate its promptness, although it can't improve on a face-to-face visit over a cup of coffee. I use it for interoffice communications (I draw the line at instant messaging) and to stay connected with my good friend in Connecticut and my sister-in-law in Minneapolis.
I recently read that it would be much healthier if I didn't email my co-workers but instead got up out of my chair, walked over to them and actually carried on a conversation. (The getting up off my posterior being the most important part, healthwise.)
My friend in Connecticut recently sent me an article written by Australian Leevi Romanik, a marketing and business consultant for online business ventures. He writes that the rapid technological advances and our non-stop accessibility to information are changing our ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand. They literally alter the way our brains work until we develop self-induced attention deficit disorder.
It sounds like soon we'll all be wearing those T-shirts that say, "ADD isn't just for kids anymore."
I text my daughter and my grandson. With him, it's always interesting to see how few words he can use in our "conversations." I can often predict the answers: mostly "Yup," "Good" and "OK," which is often reduced further to just "K."
I have no interest in Twitter, and I run hot and cold regarding Facebook.
Dr. Phil noted on one of his shows earlier this year that, on average, people check their Facebook page more than 10 times a day. As the good doctor is often fond of saying: "Are you kidding me?"
I use Facebook to view photos of the Minneapolis branch of the family. But I have to admit that as for my other "friends," for the most part I don't care about what they're posting. If some of them are reading this, I'm sorry.
A former co-worker posts several times a day, every day. We weren't close when we worked in the same newsroom, so I tend to skip over her contributions. I'm very tempted to un-friend her, but that seems rude even if she never notices.
I am curious about the amount of time she devotes to Facebook. I may live a life that would bore most people to tears, but I have better ways to spend my time. There is too much TV to watch and too many books to read. Of course, I could post about the shows I watch and the books I read ...
Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum.