My friends, I fear the Terrible Time foretold in prophecy has arrived. We all knew this day would come, but who among us really believed it? 

It finally happened. 

I have fallen behind, techwise. 

Every single day, people send me links, video clips and all-caps comments about various things going on across the World Wide Web. 

“Have you been following the kerfuffle on Nextdoor?!?!” they will wail into my email box. 

“Great Caesar’s ghost!” will ejaculate another one. “You HAVE to check out what this person is saying on Instagram!” 


Another sends a clip from TikTok and it occurs to me that I don’t have a TikTok account and wouldn’t even know where to go to set one up, providing I WANTED to do such a fool thing. 

I’ve also never used and frankly don’t even know what it does. 

I’ve never FaceTimed anyone, because — well, let’s be honest — when I’m having a conversation with someone, I don’t want them looking at me through the screen because I tend to make faces at the people I talk to. Sorry about that. Nothing personal. 

I tried Discord for a while but hated it. HATED it! It was confusing and annoying and it always felt like scammers in far-flung countries were tracking every word I wrote and using them to somehow steal my credit card information. 

I have no idea what Snapchat is all about. Some type of message board for aggressive gum chewers? Don’t know and don’t care. 

I’ll use Twitter two or three times a year, but only if I’m absolutely forced to. If I’m going to get my butt on Twitter and try to deal with that insipid hashtag business, it means that some really big, can’t-be-missed story is in play or that some brute is holding a gun to my head. 


“Yass, yass,” the brute will say, barrel of his .38 jammed in my ear. “Check out the trending topics. That’s it. You will use a hashtag and you will like it. We will get you a blue check yet, my friend. You will become one of us.” 

I hate Twitter and I don’t care who owns it. Is it even called Twitter anymore or is it X now? 

Don’t answer that. I don’t care. 

I tried using LinkedIn once or twice, but it was so frustrating, I went blind in one eye for a while. LinkedIn will show you SOME information, but never exactly the information you came looking for. Not until you are verified. Not until you have expanded your network. Not until you juggle four honeycrisp apples while dancing naked down Main Street singing the Macarena song. 

I have never once gotten any help from LinkedIn. No doubt I am doing it wrong, but I don’t care. LinkedIn is dead to me. 

I have equal disdain for Pinterest because Pinterest is always teasing me with things that MIGHT be interesting and then refusing to let me see those things because… well, I never really know why. I set up a Pinterest account once and all I got for my pains was about 10,000 spam emails a day. If you see Pinterest on the street, don’t tell him I said hi because I have nothing at all to say to that weasel. 


I don’t know what Tumblr is all about. No idea about Threads, either. And I’m sure that in the time that it took for me to write all this up, 700 new social media services have sprung up, demanding to be used. 

“Sure, I’ll tell you what I know about that triple homicide,” a source will soon tell me. “Hit me up on SnaggleFrack and I’ll tell you the whole story.” 

And that’s just the thing about this whole explosion of communication services. If all the best sources are hanging out on one of those new fangled apps and webpages, I have to be there, too. That’s how I ended up with a Facebook account in the first place. I had no real interest in sharing my innermost thoughts and pictures of my food with acquaintances, but all the best local scuttlebutt was there and lord knows how I’ve come to feed on scuttlebutt like flies feed on roadkill.  

Not a day goes by when I don’t loudly complain about the many, many, many annoyances — not to mention the security dangers — of Facebook. I’ll cuss and fume and spray spittle upon anyone unfortunate to be listening about how I’m going to get rid of Facebook once and for all and start living my life again. 

Five minutes later, there I am, trawling the pages for the latest rumors, arguments or facts-spilling reveals about the downtown murder, the suspicious house fire, the inner-city beatdown or the (cough, cough) situation with all those cats inside a house in Auburn. 

Facebook is just too damn good a fishing spot to be rid of. As it happens, Nextdoor is pretty good for this, as well, in part because it is hyperlocal to specific neighborhoods. My attempts to stay off those pages is slowly falling away as more people congregate at to talk about hot-button issues in their necks of the woods. 


But Instagram? TikTok? Snapchat, whatever that is? No sir. You can get that beastly guy to threaten me some more, but I’m not signing up for those services no matter how many links to hilaaaaarious videos you send me. A guy has to draw the line somewhere, even at the risk of being labeled a luddite. 

When it comes to tech and emerging online services, I’ve always placed myself, if not at the front of the pack, at least somewhere in the upper middle. 

I got rid of Windows altogether (and so should you) and set up a sweet Linux machine. I root all of my Android phones so as to grab control of the device from the greedy hands of Google. 

I use a fantastic transcription service called Otter that takes all of my recorded interviews and turns them into text. I’m a black belt master of Evernote and you should SEE the advanced kind of stuff I manage with Libre Office. 

Alas, all of the services I hold so dear are now considered ancient to the point of decrepitude.  

“Ha ha!” giggles your average technophile. “Evernote? Step aside, Grampa, all the cool kids are using Notion these days.” 


Then he dances off to the nearest coffee shop to write his graphic novel in Scrivener, or whatever those people do. 

So, yes, I’ve fallen behind. I imagine soon I’ll have to get one of those phones with only three buttons on it that are specifically designed for poor souls who can’t figure out the latest tech. You’ll find me squinting at it with great perplexity, pants pulled up to my armpits, as I spout off about how the glory days of the internet are over. 

“MySpace!” I’ll bark at anyone in earshot. “Now those were the days. MySpace, Napster, ICQ and Geocities. We had three megabytes of hard drive space and blue screens of death. Uphill! Both ways! Not like you $#@!@! kids with your bleeding-edge this and newfangled that. Get a haircut, you hippie. And get off my lawn!” 

I’m sure somebody will record this old guy rant with their $3,000 phone and I’ll be the laughing stock of SnapTokTwitterGram or whatever, but fortunately I’ll never have to see it. 

 And with that, I’m off for a tall glass of Ovaltine followed by my regular 4 p.m. nap.

You can send Mark LaFlamme your latest rumors, arguments or facts-spilling reveals to Yeah, old school.

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