I don’t get it! Am I old?

“I guess I’m just not that narcissistic,” my 20-something associate said as we tucked into Mexican food and I tried to describe Twitter to him, and boy was I relieved.

You see, I have been mindful of my advancing age as the wonders of Web 2.0 have, one by one, been unveiled. Some of it’s useful (RSS and Google Maps), some of it – not (Twitter and MySpace). When I hear apparently intelligent people hype things and I can see no reason at all that anyone with half an oz. of brains would have any use for them, I begin to wonder if my sell-by date is past and my best days on earth are over. Am I becoming the creepy old guy at the rock concert? After all, I’m blogging, and sending my friends the South Carolina Beauty Queen meltdown link on YouTube, aren’t I?

“I do have a MySpace account, though,” he said, nearly causing me to spew spanish rice all over the place. But he went on to describe how he only has 3 friends, all more or less related to him, who a) leave comments on his profile so that b)he’ll get e-mail from MySpace and c)e-mail them back.

My correspondent from the 21st century went on to explain that the rumor that “no one uses e-mail anymore” is somewhat true – he considers himself somewhat unusual in that he does homepage.westmont.edu. He says that everyone checks their MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking site, or sends a text message by phone, adding that many see e-mail as a business-oriented form of communication, and that those other methods are considered quicker, hipper, etc.

What strikes me about the use of social networking sites as a replacement for e-mail is that it almost seems like a throwback to CompuServe or Prodigy. To communicate with a MySpace user, you have to be on MySpace. Just like the ’80s!

“Hey, send me Prodigy mail!”
“I’m not on Prodigy?!”
“Too bad…”

And even though I now (as of this writing) have a twitter widget on this site (more for camp than anything else), I still think twitter is about as useful as the internet coffee pot (R.I.P).

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