All aTwitter

24Jul10

As recently as a few weeks ago, my resolve was holding firm. There was no way that I would ever be on Twitter.

About a year ago, I finally caved to virtual peer pressure and signed up for a Facebook account long after most of my eventual FB friends had been updating their statuses for years. But I was drawing the line with Facebook. I would not Tweet.
VCR/DVD Player

In my personal life, I have been slow to adopt electronic technology. I was one of the last people in North America to get a VCR. Once I did, I wore several of them out in quick succession. When the technology migrated to DVD players, once again I held the line. My VCRs worked perfectly well, I reasoned. When one of them breaks, maybe then I’ll get a DVD player, I resolved, but not one day sooner.
Beta & VHS
Eventually, of course, I caved once again. One can stand the peels of laughter only so long. I now own two DVD players. Full disclosure: I still have two VCRS too. (For the record, they are VHS – it’s not like I’m running Betamax or something. I’m no Luddite, after all.)

When home computers came along, again I held off. It might just be a fad, I reasoned, and if it wasn’t, I’d at least wait until they perfect them. By the mid-‘90s, I was satisfied that the personal computer was here to stay and took the plunge.

That meant the Internet too. Those were the waning days of the dialup modem, and I got in just in time. When high-speed came along, again I resisted. But Comcast’s introductory three-way bundle of high-speed Internet, phone and cable for $99 a month for one year eventually broke my resolve. A year was a long time, I calculated, after which I could always go back to dialup. Yeah, right.

At first, only businesses and organizations had web sites. That made sense to me. Companies and associations had messages to communicate and could afford to hire a professional to build a web site for them. When blogs came along, making it easy for anyone to have a web site, I was unmoved. The ability to say something is not the same as having something worth saying. And besides, I didn’t even like the word “blog.” Even now I note with some satisfaction that my 2003 version of Microsoft WORD does not recognize “blog” as a word.

But I’m a writer, after all. So two years ago, I signed up for this WordPress blog (marksardella.wordpress.com/). Now, I am an internationally published writer.

When social networking media came along, I knew I was safe from its creeping reach. Not without cause, I am regarded as something of a loner, a hermit if you will. Why on earth would the likes of me spend my precious personal time getting involved with any technology that goes by the name “social networking”?

It started innocently enough. In 2006, someone told me about Flickr, a place where people could post digital photos online where anyone could see them. I overcame my brief skepticism. It was just pictures, after all. How bad could it be?

I quickly became hooked. I now have 2,496 photos on my Flickr site, flickr.com/photos/dr_television/. It has rekindled my interest in photography. Instead of passing prints to a few bored friends around the dining room table, I can now share my photos with a potential worldwide audience of millions. And I don’t have to talk to anyone.

I remember talking to my 20-something niece a couple of years ago about the pros and cons of Facebook and MySpace. “MySpace is creepy,” she advised. So I got a Facebook account, but I participate in only a very limited way.

I still have no good explanation for getting involved with Facebook. Voyeurism may have played a role. There are advantages to knowing what people are up to (especially if they’re sharing it voluntarily) without having to talk to them.

Even before social media giants MySpace and Facebook transformed the web, writer Anneli Rufus wrote about the Internet’s impact on the antisocial community in her 2003 book, Party of One: the Loners’ Manifesto.

“The Internet is, for loners, an absolute and total miracle. It is, for us, the best invention of the last millennium,” Rufus gushed. “It facilitates a kind of dialog in which we need not be seen, so it suits us perfectly.”

And so it does. For an unsociable curmudgeon, I seem to have scored a social media hat trick: a blog, Facebook and as of this week, Twitter – another way to communicate and avoid socializing simultaneously.

I tweet, therefore I am. Follow me .

[This column originally appeared in the July 22, 2010 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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2 Responses to “All aTwitter”


  1. 1 Cool Vcr Player images | VLC Media Player
  2. 2 Cool Dvd Players images | DVD

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