A fogey in an e-world

Social media don’t set our heart atwitter.

We were born in a society where old sayings like “good fences make good neighbors” also implied that the only way to assure an ongoing friendship was to never reveal the real you.

Today’s generation doesn’t believe in fences, and intimate secrets are posted throughout a cyberworld. And they are posted instantaneously – perhaps even before you had time to consider whether or not that shot of gramma BB-gunning stray cats in the backyard is going to be well received by the Humane Society.

Steve Wosniak (co-founder of Apple) has expressed the fear that social media and associated gadgets are addictive. Well, duh.

Movies regularly begin now with instructions to “Shut off all cellphones.” Five minutes into the movie, a phone will ring.

Putting the thing on vibrate doesn’t count as shutting it off, either. Even as deaf as we are, we can hear a vibrating cell at 30 paces in a theater. And that vibrating noise is every bit as irritating and intrusive as the latest Barry Manilow ring tone.

It is alarming to some of us that a good segment of our population cannot stand to be out of touch. Their minute-by-minute lives are tweeted, instant-messaged or dispersed on Facebook. At first we thought these people must have colossal egos to think others really cared about such mundane tidbits.

But most of the people we know who use social media have dozens of followers. The social media buffs are not only sending out their own trivia, they are reading other people’s.

It simply makes us long for the days when a beaming mother would ask, “Would you like to see a picture of Junior?” and we would politely answer, “No, thank you, all babies look like Nikita Khrushchev.”

Now, Junior’s picture is all over cyberspace. And we’re talking about 460,000,000 Juniors.

It makes us shudder.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.