Friday, June 24, 2011

Geekiness Abounding

I think it's safe to conclude that my husband and I are geeks.

I've suspected it for some time now, but the evidence is just too hard to ignore any longer.

We don't have an iPhone, a Wii, or even an iPod. We don't even LIKE our cell phones. We are not linked onto Facebook, we don't text, and we are still naive enough to believe that a tweet is a sound that birds make. We haven't been to the cinema in over two years, we don't have a DVR, and our favorite TV show -- the only show we actually watch -- is "The Iron Chef" on the Food Network.

Let's see, what else? Our favorite films are typically monochromes from the 1930s through 1950s starring people who have been deceased for 30 or more years now. When we play music for our daughter, we choose tunes by Glen Campbell, the BeeGees, and Louis Armstrong. And oh yes, how can I forget? We would love -- I mean absolute LOVE -- for Neil Diamond to tour again so that we can see him in concert. We want to see him in concert even more than Gordon Lightfoot, whom we saw last year amidst a sea of gray-haired retirees.

Sometimes, in moments of raw candor, we admit to being happy that we are geeks. The world needs more geeks, after all, and geeks of history have often made grand contributions to humanity. Like most geeks, we love to read and we love to ponder the deeper things of life. Like most geeks, we try to stay on top of what is going on in the world. And like most geeks, we have that subtle, odd quirkiness that would guarantee our exclusion (much to our delight) from a fraternity or sorority.

And we're not TRYING to be geeks. We're not trying to stay away from the latest technology or the latest films, for example. We love using email, we love our digital camera (even though it's not on our phone), and we love browsing the internet (oftentimes to appease our spontaneous, geeky curiosities -- like the time we looked up the history of Curling). We're just being ourselves, I guess. And what can we say? We're geeks.

Sometimes we wonder how our geeky personalities will affect our daughter. Is she doomed to a life of overwhelming geekiness because of who her parents happen to be? Is it okay if she's a geek? Is it okay if she's NOT a geek?! We actually kind of struggle with these questions because, like most parents, we adore our child and will do whatever we can to shield her from harm. We don't want to make her a geek if it will mean emotional torment for her. But we don't want her to conform to an ever-increasingly impersonal, overly busy, digitally drunk society either, because we are certain that that will cost her dearly.

I don't dislike technology. I like it. Technology has done great things for humanity, and oftentimes it is the geeks of the world who give it to us (Bill Gates, anyone?). But like everything else in this fallen world, it can be abused or -- far worse -- used for evil. Or it can just separate us, ever so slightly and deceitfully, from the things that really matter. Like, for instance, the 1950s family who sat down for dinner in front of "The Jackie Gleason Show," slowly losing conversation. Or the modern-day family who sits down at the table for dinner, each with a cell phone next to his or her fork, constantly checking the latest Tweet or Facebook entry. I have to honestly ask myself sometimes, when I am tempted to indulge in the latest technological trends, "Is it really worth it?" Some people would call me a geek for thinking about it too much. But I've already admitted to being a geek, so that doesn't phase me. Inevitably, that geeky side of me has to ask: Is it really worth it?

I had a nightmare last night that I finally succumbed to pressure and joined the multitudes on Facebook. I have to confess that the scariest thing about my dream was that I actually LIKED Facebook. Yikes! What's happening to me? *smile*

I hope I'm not making it sound like I think my husband and I are better than people who use lots of technology. I really don't feel that way. But I'll be honest: I do think we're getting more out of our day to day than people who spend lots of time checking Facebook messages and watching inane reality TV shows just because it's THERE. And it's not that I think everyone should quick cold turkey. I just wish we'd all make it less of a priority. (And that means that Jerry and I should fore-go "The Iron Chef" every now and then, too).

What I want for my daughter is this: To see the world in color. I want her to play in the dirt instead of pushing buttons on her Wii control pad. I want her to count the shades of blue in the sky and then paint them instead of using her cell phone to capture every image passing by in the car. I want her to laugh out loud with a flesh and blood friend while licking a popsicle instead of tweeting. I want her to prefer the musty smell of well-worn books to the glaring image of a computer screen. I guess, in my way, I want her to be a geek. Because I love her.

You can post that now.

2 comments: said...

I love it! Eric and I are geeks too. We listen to Louis Armstrong too! And John Denver. :) Wesley's been singing, "la, la" to songs by Charlotte Church. I'm not really sure what tweeting is. When I read and write an email, I'd rather it be like a letter rather than an impersonal quick relay race. People still don't understand that we really don't use our cell phone except on a very few occasions usually just between Eric and I or when traveling. My favorite show on the tube is Antiques Road Show and I love checking out old reruns of All Creatures Great and Small and Murder She Wrote from the library. LIke I've said before, we are kindred sister, and geeky ones at that!

Melissa said...

Amen!!! No cell phone here (well a Tracfone in my car - does that count) and our TV is being cancelled next month when our contract is up. We have a Wii, the kids are pretty over it (works great for streaming Netflix) and the boys would rather play in the dirt or jump on the trampoline. Technology is nice, but definitely can suck the face to face relationships from people - it's so different now. P.S. I do have a FB account so I can print coupons - that's pretty geeky and doesn't count against me, right?