As the unstoppable Social Media high-speed train barrels down the tracks, some of us are either sprinting to catch up, hanging on for dear life or maybe never got on board. The pace is fast and furious and shows no signs of letting up.
A mere smidgen of confidence can be derived from the fact that I have literally thousands of emails and text messages under my belt, or more precisely, below my fingertips. Though qualified to type, this doesn’t imply I can keep up with the times in our cyber-social ecosystem.
Staying somewhat on track, though I don’t check regularly, my Facebook page has a profile picture. With the “face” part down, all I need now is the “book” part. Hardly voluminous, the totality of my posts is something equivalent to a truncated haiku.
A few years back I gave Twitter a try. In the end, I had one rather weird follower and, no surprise, about three total. Having only a handful of tweets to my name, I pulled down my account rather than succumb to the shaming censorship of the “tweet-police” for the violation of “moving too slowly.” The eagle has landed and won’t be taking off anytime soon.
During our pandemic, someone recommended I give Snapchat a try to reach the Gen Z crowd. I know how to spell “multitask” but what exactly has “snap” and “chat” to do with each other. As Vinnie Barbarino often lamented, and this generation would have no idea, “I’m so confused!”
When it comes to most of those cyber-gathering platforms, all I can say is “WhatsApp with that?”
To this point, I’ve managed to function and survive without the help of Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumble, WeChat, Messenger and Reddit, just to name a few. With participation in the billions, they won’t miss me. I realize I may be in the minority, but I have a certain appreciation for what’s described as old school.
Lest you think I live with my head buried in the sand or in a cave with the other Neanderthals, I have taken advantage of YouTube on multiple occasions. That informative and educational platform has enabled me to figure out how to repair my bike, start my pressure washer, reprogram my cyclometer, tighten a loose freezer door handle, remove errant permanent marker from furniture and even replace the kitchen sink’s garbage disposal.
But then my wife and I had something of a social media awakening. We took a major leap forward and, one could say, took a flying leap forward in time.
This convergence of energies occurred just one week ago today. It was a Saturday like most others were in not for the collective inspiration — it was a thing of beauty — of my wife and me to do some intense cleaning in our home.
Not just a little hand-dusting. We’re talking about moving large pieces of furniture away from the wall, taking slipcovers off couch cushions and putting them through the wash, and breaking out the Goo Gone to clean the crusted green stain embedded in the carpet beneath the coffee table.
With the vacuum cleaner crevice and upholstery tools in hand, I went to work. Meanwhile, my better half was moving and pruning some overgrown houseplants. What soon came into view caused her to practically stop dead in her tracks.
In fact, the furnishing of which I speak had stopped dead decades ago when we first moved to Ottawa. Neglected due to years of, well, neglect, the precious century-old antique, brought over from Germany generations ago, was sound asleep and hadn’t moved a muscle for years.
Somewhere in time, the towering structure, bequeathed to my wife by her late grandmother, ground to a halt at precisely nine o’clock. As some say, the grandfather clock was right at least twice a day, but was sadly unable to chime-in with the news.
The clock was going nowhere, and fast. That had nothing to do with the 30-pound car jack sitting in its base or the wire I rigged up top preventing it from crashing over on one of our boisterous and playful grandchildren.
As I was deep cleaning nearby, she was trying to set the clock in motion. Finally, giving the vacuum — and my back — a rest, she drew me near to inform me of our dilemma. “I moved the clock hands and the chimes still chime the right number of times, but the pendulum keeps stopping.”
My brain went into high gear. YouTube must have an answer! Cleaning came to a quick standstill and an internet search was on.
Sure enough, YouTube took us right to Tony, better known as TickTockTony, an antique clock guru, who graciously put out a video about how to keep the beat.
Opening up our eyes, he enlightened us about the tick, tock, tick-of-it-all. Our clock was out of balance and hence we had too much tick and not enough tock. With level in hand, sure enough, it wasn’t as bad as The Leaning Tower of Pisa, but our grandfather was a little bit tipsy.
Having propped up one side with a couple furniture glides, the problem was solved. Dormant for decades, the time’s now at hand, plus all the “bells and whistles,” too.
With TickTockTony’s expertise, we are once more keeping up with these tireless times, but, then again, time will tell.
Ken Pollitz moved to Ottawa in 1991 as mission-developer/pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church. His biweekly column provides insights and viewpoints from Putnam County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org