Sometimes when I’m online, I feel like I’m on an ice skating rink for the very first time, shaky on my feet, while seasoned skaters whiz by me doing effortless triple salchows and those cool looking sit spins. I’ve particularly felt this way more and more lately as I’ve begun to wade into Web 2.0 waters, having just recently signed up for Facebook and Twitter accounts. And now I’m launching this blog.
I’m hardly an internet newbie. Those familiar with my work know I’ve had an ezine for nearly a decade and a Web site for almost that long. I’m no stranger to forums, IMs , Webinars or online shopping. I rarely write a paper check these days if I can help it. I consider Google and email to be basic necessities.
But this recent onslaught of communcation options has this middle-aged head reeling. I am especially overwhelmed by the rapid development of numerous Twitter tools, having only just begun to dip a toe into the Twitter pool (or should I say raging flood) itself. The problem is, I love learning new things. I never needed to be the first kid on the block with the latest toy, as long as I eventually got to own one. I feel that way about many, if not most, current technological advances and Web-based tools. But things are just moving way, way too fast for me now. There’s so much to read, learn, explore, try. And still only 24 hours in a day.
I guess it all comes down to deciding what’s most important, and making choices. We can allow oursleves to drown in tweets and pokes, or we can take a step back, realize that it’s okay not to be able to keep pace with every single change, and make time for what really matters. For me that includes family, friends, writing, reading good books, gardening, and–-when I can–-finding time to learn a little more about these new-fangled ways to reach out to other people, especially writers, around the globe.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always choose wisely. Real time flies in cyberspace. But I do strive for balance between the global community and my local one.
So as the young skaters fly past me, I try not to envy them too much. Thirty to forty years from now, I’m sure they will feel as befuddled as I sometimes do now. Not that I wish that for them; it’s just the natural order of things. Instead, I’ll simply admire their prowess, and try to learn a little from watching them. Who knows? Maybe some of them will take pity on a doddering baby boomer, and pull me along for the ride of my life.