One of the sure signs that I’m getting older is the growing disconnect between me and technology. While many grayers are as tech savvy as anyone, most, like me, find that our grandchildren are more adept at surfing the wild web than we ever were, or ever hoped to be. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, there is something disconcerting about the growing trend of the use of cutting edge technology to put unflattering pictures of our faces into cyberspace, even if that face is in front of, or next to, something most people would consider interesting.
Full disclosure; my wife and I have few joys greater than getting on FaceTime with our granddaughter. To live in an age where loved ones can virtually be with us despite the miles is truly a blessing. The ability to be face-to-face aside, the selfie craze is making me long for the days when in order to see loved ones we needed to travel by horseback. (OK, I’m not nearly that old but I can imagine that after a bumpy ride via wagon train, and staring at the working end of a horse, anyone’s face would be a welcome site.)
I’ve noticed that I’m developing a condition that I call Intermittent Preinstagram Anxiety Disorder, iPAD for short, which is characterized by the occasional worry that the people staring back at me in Instagram can actually sense how quickly I’m losing interest in seeing what they look like a day after they posted their last self-portrait. I’ve actually found myself touching the Instagram icon with a trembling finger and the physiological reaction one has just before being splashed with cold water.
While a simple cure for iPAD would be to simply remove the app, I find this hard to do for two reasons. The first is that I’m afraid that certain people I follow will take it as a personal slight; that somehow I’ve lost interest in seeing the myriad of facial expressions they are capable of making. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I fear that I’ve reached that senior moment turning point best summed up by the phrase, “I just don’t understand kids today.” Keeping the app is my e-version of the comb-over; the attempt to be seen as still being “with it” “hip” or whatever word the kids are using these days to mean “Not an old grampa.”
Alas, it is most likely too late, and I will have to face the fact that faces are in and being grumpy about the selfie craze is definitely out.