Star date: April 28, 2013. I have reluctantly been drawn into Twitter and the tweetisphere.
It was not without a struggle but in the end, like Captain Kirk caught in a Klingon tractor beam, I was dragged through the front doors of the Visions store in Kelowna and forced to purchase a Samsung Galaxy 3 phone (along with a pricey monthly data plan and numerous essential attachments and accessories).
Immediately, the process of my conversion to the lofty ideals and values of tweetism began.
My new phone, of course, was never really intended to be used to actually speak to anyone.
On the plan I had purchased, actual conversation would soon cost far too much and waste way too many words. Instead, I had to text people.
Unfortunately, I only know one person who texts. Never mind. Within minutes I was asking Bob all kinds of important questions: “Where are you?” “Is the weather nice there?” “What are you going to have for lunch?” In seconds responses were coming. “At the cabin.” “No.” “Grilled cheese.”
Suddenly I felt the same joy that all those millions of teenagers feel as they stare down at their phones while walking through the mall, their busy thumbs tapping out a steady stream of valuable insights into their immediate location, likes, dislikes, emotional state and dietary habits – it was exhilarating!
And I hadn’t even returned to my car! I had, however, bumped into a man with a cane, knocking off his fedora and carelessly kicked a woman’s Lhasa Apso as I weaved across the parking lot.
I ignored their yells, intent on summoning up on my phone’s tiny screen the latest episode of Downton Abbey as the young salesman had demonstrated. And voilà! There before my eyes appeared the entire glorious cast of my favourite program.
I could hardly take my eyes off the tiny screen in my lap as I backed out of the parking space.
Since then, I have shopped online, texted, tweeted, watched several Bruce Willis movies, changed my ring tone to make it sound like a lion roaring and even talked once or twice on my incredible communication device.
Unfortunately, I forgot to read all the fine print in my Telus/Bell contract. Free usage on the phone ended at 150 megabytes of data. By the time I had learned how to monitor my data usage, I had chalked up $374 in charges, in four days.
Star date: April 29, 2013. I have engaged the warp drive and left the tweetisphere.
I am back on solid ground. I have fed the trout in the pond and changed the oil in my 1954 Case IH tractor.
From somewhere far away I hear the roar of a lion. I do not answer.
– Jim Holtz is WEEKENDER columnist and former reporter for the Grand Forks Gazette