The Information Age

I have been called a Luddite. Maybe it’s my age, but I think it’s more likely my nature. Hence, I am being dragged into the Information Age. The Internet and the calculator have replaced encyclopedias and the slide rule. Life has changed. I once told my mentor that I had no interest in learning to operate these new informational tools. She said, “Joanne, life is going to pass you by.“

I mostly think of the computer as a tool, rather than as an entertainment device. I do business stuff, email and my children and grandchildren are driving me into texting, which I am slowly grasping. Email is a bygone thing; they hardly look at it anymore. At my age I am finding that things are out before I know they’re fully in. I first noticed this years ago when the newspaper on New Year’s Day listed all the ins and outs. I barely knew what half of them were, in or out. And the things that were out, I had never even known to be in. And I was just getting into the outs.

I do not do Facebook or Twitter, nor do I Tweet or anything else they’ve invented in the last hour. But I do write a blog, which I suppose is entertainment. My Luddite self is being compromised. So I am here to enlighten us on the verbiage of the Internet. I know my granddaughters could do a better job, but right now I’m all you have. I looked up all this stuff on the informational Internet.

Let’s start with blog. It is a truncation of Weblog, which is a discussion or information site, published on the worldwide web or WWW. From that comes bloggers and blogger sphere and blogging. OK, now that we know what we’re about, let’s delve further.

My crossword Saturday had the word emoticon. It is a keyboard representation of a facial expression. There are lots of them. Here are two useful ones:   🙂 and 🙁   made with colons, dashes and parentheses (although this program won’t display them like that, substituting smiley faces instead). There are lots of emotiwords, also, but the only one I liked was emotibabble, sort of like psychobabble.

I looked up Internet expressions on Google. There were about 320 of them. There were 15 of these that started with I. Here are a few of them: IC (I see), IDC (I don’t care), IDGI (I don’t get it?), IDK (I don’t know), IDTS (I don’t think so), IIRC (If I remember correctly), ILY (I love you) and my favorite, IMHO (In my humble opinion). There were three that began with U: U (You), U2 (You, too) and UR (You are). It’s the me generation showing its ugly head.

Cyberspace is full of information, videos and, yes, peril. As Obi-Wan said in “Star Wars” about the Mos Eisley Spaceport. “You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Yes it is untamed and perilous; yet it is as full of opportunity and as free as the Wild, Wild West. As dangerous as it could be, do we really want it censored? It’s a tough call. I think we just have to be very, very careful in its use.

In the seventies, when the possibilities of the Internet first came to light, I tried to think of ways it could be used. My brain could not get around it. It is more far-reaching and changing our lives in ways we could not imagine then. In my first year Biology Class when in college, the professor put up a graph on the board showing the growth in information or knowledge through the centuries. It was a fairly constant line of growth of about 30 Degrees. Then in the 1960’s it spiked to nearly 90 degrees. It was a harbinger of things to come.

2 thoughts on “The Information Age”

  1. Both the interesting and informative blogs and blogger are treasures. Please know that we look forward to reading each new piece.
    And now, TFBY–(a newly coined one from me): Thanks for being you!
    Love, Joan

  2. Yes, TFBY! Skip asked me what I was laughing about! I agree … “things are out before I know they’re fully in!” I learned so much from your blog.
    Please don’t tell me they’ve replaced UBER now that I’ve had my first independent ride! A mutual friend told me she went by UBER from Arlington to Walter Reed and another time shopping at the mall. So now you and I have to try UBER together … and gloat at what we’ve accomplished.

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