I am an old fogey. I don't have a Facebook page. I'm not ready for Reddit. Nothing about Pintrest piques my interest. The chatter of Twitter makes me tired. And, as of this past week, I have learned more about Instagram than I care to forget. I don't have thoughts that are easily condensed into a hundred and forty characters. That's Haiku. I don't tend to take a lot of photos of myself or the pavement in front of my house. The content I feel compelled to add to the ever-expanding pile that is Al Gore's Internet are the words you are reading here before you.
Most of you are here by my invitation. As a result, I tend to filter myself to that audience. I also understand that there are those who stumble across my rants and musings on their way to finding articles about Douglas Leedy's electronic masterpiece, and for that I apologize. Such is the nature of words and discourse: all the really good ideas have already been used, and if you're very clever you can repackage them in such a way that they seem like yours. I'm looking at you, J.J. Abrams.
I'm also looking at myself: the guy who is so out of touch that he had to find out if Instagram had any age restrictions when he heard that there was a series of slanderous messages being sent around a group of fourth graders. As it turns out, this small cadre of younger than thirteen-year-olds were caught up in a web of ugly intrigue that had all manner of name calling and lewd suggestion, all of which went without the notice of anybody's parents. It took a sharp-eared coach with her ears out to catch all the drama being fomented in and around the jump rope area. Eventually, there were a lot of tears and a lot of finger-pointing. What made the situation worse was that Instagram by its nature is essentially anonymous. You never know who you might be inviting in to your tablet or phone and what vileness they might spew. Unless you took the time to talk to your kids about what they were doing with all that technology they lug around.
I got to have some of those conversations with a number of kids that day, and then their parents. I hope we all learned something. I hope I never have to go on Instagram again. Now I have to educate myself on Rumr. Gosh, how I miss the olden days of writing on the bathroom wall. I'm old.