I am not on Twitter; I never have been on Twitter, and I never will be on Twitter. There, I've said it. How long that statement will remain true is anybodies guess, for I am now in possession of quite a number of things I never wanted in the first place. Five years ago, I was quite happy with five television channels; now I have around 35, but no greater choice of programmes. I resisted the Internet up until the year 2000, when the Millennium Bug never happened and I ran out of excuses not to go on-line. Now we have a world of Facebook-addicted computer geeks who can't drag themselves away from their laptops long enough to get out and enjoy the real world. I practically had to be dragged into the Carphone Warehouse when I first got a mobile 'phone back in 2002. It may be a good thing to have, but you can hardly have a decent conversation down the pub for people twittering, texting, or checking out their bloody facebook pages. Of course, I have to have the Internet, as that is where I am kept up to speed on conventions and such; but there are limits. I don't carry my mobile 'phone around unless I absolutely have to. I'm told that's what it's for, but I argue that I don't want to be on call 24/7.
Alright, I have a website and it's a good place to link up my on-line fiction and collect favoured sites and blogs together in a 'Links' section (as a short story writer, I obviously don't object to Internet magazines giving an extra outlet for my tales). But it's getting a bit much when people can't get through a day without their Blackberry's!
Still, the days when I would fight against technology are long gone, and a Twitter page is probably another of those things I'll end up with whether I want it or not (like my digital TV, which uploads new channels automatically - something I rarely bothered with when I had a now-obsolete digi-box, and had to completely reset it when a new channel came up!). It is said that newspapers will be obsolete by 2019 (in paper form - those editors and gossip columnists will still be able to spout their bilge on-line!), but let's face it, with 24 hour news channels, who needs them?
Alright, I'm making this rant on a blog page I've been maintaining for the last 6 years; and if you're reading it, you probably clicked the link on my facebook page; that irony is not entirely lost on me. And I will admit that my digital camera is a little miracle, enabling me to upload stuff on Youtube; so, not a complete luddite then. But when you're down the pub, would it kill you to switch off that mobile 'phone for a couple of hours? In my local, there's a sign inviting people to bring down their laptops and treat the place like an office. Frankly, I get pissed off with loud-voiced idiots treating it like a telephone box! Soon, it will be getting so you can't put your pint on the table for laptop computers. Still, the world and technology marches on. I can keep telling people to get a life, but with cellphones plastered to their ears and their noses glued to a computer screen, who is going to listen? It's 2011, and things can only get worse!
On the writing front, the year started with a publication of one of my stories on a website called 'Bewildering Stories'. Inspired by an old abandoned railway bridge in my village (and a few recent events) The Hidey-Hole (http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue413/hidey_hole1.html ) neatly takes me into my 15th year as a published writer. I knew I'd find something positive to say about technology. Have a great new year.