Hanging out with the other 99%

It’s really great hanging out with people who you don’t really know. Last night I hung out with my neighbors and met many of them for the first time (we had a block party). Most of the people in my neighborhood are older. In their 60s and 70s. One of my neighbors is a “drug dealer.” His words, not mine. Works in the pharma industry and has visited 102 countries. Fascinating guy.

But it was interesting trying to explain what I do. “I have an Internet video show.” No, not a porn show. Heh!

Some of my neighbors couldn’t quite rap their heads around the fact that I could send video of them around the world from my cell phone. They had heard of Facebook or MySpace but I had to explain over and over how Kyte worked. They acted like they had met someone from the future.

Some of my neighbors also didn’t know what a blog was. I didn’t have the heart to try to explain what Twitter is or that they could talk with thousands of people all over the world on it.

I shouldn’t make all my neighbors sound like Luddites. They are very educated and well traveled people who’ve done interesting things with their lives but it’s interesting to see just how far ahead those of us who live in the tech echo chamber are. One common thing? They all have heard about Facebook and are wondering what they’d do on it. It really pisses me off I can’t add them to Facebook. So, I told them to sign up for Twitter instead and I’d answer their questions there.

Interesting that the New York Times is writing about the “older crowd” on Facebook as well. I love that they call us older users of Facebook “the creepies.” Heh.

So, what you doing to teach “the creepies” more about new technology?

Me? I love going up to people and explaining “I have a TV station in my pocket.” That always gets interesting looks.

66 thoughts on “Hanging out with the other 99%

  1. Robert, I think you might be missing an important point that can be drawn from Elneda’s comment. You see, there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people to whom your dalliance with tech appears lightweight at best, although they are perhaps too polite to mention it. There are scientists and engineers, writers, and editors, retired people and remittance men who not only use this stuff, but who invent new pieces of it every day in an effort to do what they need to do. Think of all the engineers at FMC building better stuff for better wars in a bright new age! EVERYONE has access to consumer tech. Vast numbers of people use it with a facility that exceeds even your own! Only a small percentage of these share the boomtown mentality of the Silicon Valley prospecting entrepreneurs. There are thirty-thousand faculty members who program and design systems (average age: could be older than you) within an hour and a half of your neighborhood. Most of these systems are more evolved, more complex, than the simple info capture/data transfer/storage/messaging junk that you and I get off on. Part of your charm is your naivete, but it can be a drawback when a firm grasp of reality is required.

  2. Robert, I think you might be missing an important point that can be drawn from Elneda’s comment. You see, there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people to whom your dalliance with tech appears lightweight at best, although they are perhaps too polite to mention it. There are scientists and engineers, writers, and editors, retired people and remittance men who not only use this stuff, but who invent new pieces of it every day in an effort to do what they need to do. Think of all the engineers at FMC building better stuff for better wars in a bright new age! EVERYONE has access to consumer tech. Vast numbers of people use it with a facility that exceeds even your own! Only a small percentage of these share the boomtown mentality of the Silicon Valley prospecting entrepreneurs. There are thirty-thousand faculty members who program and design systems (average age: could be older than you) within an hour and a half of your neighborhood. Most of these systems are more evolved, more complex, than the simple info capture/data transfer/storage/messaging junk that you and I get off on. Part of your charm is your naivete, but it can be a drawback when a firm grasp of reality is required.

  3. “it’s interesting to see just how far ahead those of us who live in the tech echo chamber are.”

    Obviously, though far ahead in the use of technology, you are not very advanced in the use of the written word. Next time, if you mean “far ahead in the use of technology,” then say that. That way, you won’t piss off your neighbors and come across as a jerk. Once you enter your thoughts in a blog, you are no longer comparing notes with your peers. You might want to keep that in mind.

  4. “it’s interesting to see just how far ahead those of us who live in the tech echo chamber are.”

    Obviously, though far ahead in the use of technology, you are not very advanced in the use of the written word. Next time, if you mean “far ahead in the use of technology,” then say that. That way, you won’t piss off your neighbors and come across as a jerk. Once you enter your thoughts in a blog, you are no longer comparing notes with your peers. You might want to keep that in mind.

  5. When I said “far ahead” I meant in the use of technology.

    If you said you were “far ahead” of me in veterinary medicine you’d be absolutely correct. I don’t have any knowledge in that area. So, if you were comparing notes with your coworkers or other vets you might talk about that.

    Like I said, some of my neighbors are extremely advanced in their use of technology. Look back at what I wrote about Paul Wreubel: http://scobleizer.com/2007/10/13/got-a-kid-headed-to-college-you-need-paul/

    But I did get some very rudimentary questions from other people at the party which I thought were worth noting.

  6. When I said “far ahead” I meant in the use of technology.

    If you said you were “far ahead” of me in veterinary medicine you’d be absolutely correct. I don’t have any knowledge in that area. So, if you were comparing notes with your coworkers or other vets you might talk about that.

    Like I said, some of my neighbors are extremely advanced in their use of technology. Look back at what I wrote about Paul Wreubel: http://scobleizer.com/2007/10/13/got-a-kid-headed-to-college-you-need-paul/

    But I did get some very rudimentary questions from other people at the party which I thought were worth noting.

  7. Gosh, were we at the same party?? There was a very interesting couple in the 70′s (German and French – that should tell you a little about their past), a few couples in their 60′s and most of the rest of us are very interesting 40 and 50 year olds. “The other 99%” of us who are not techno geeks probably would not agree that you are so “far ahead” of us. Could you carry on an intelligent conversation with me about canine IMHA? I doubt it. But I would not insult you for not knowing anything about veterinary medicine. Before you start denigrating your entire neighborhood, you might want to consider that there are plenty of us who know enough about technology to read your blog.

  8. Gosh, were we at the same party?? There was a very interesting couple in the 70′s (German and French – that should tell you a little about their past), a few couples in their 60′s and most of the rest of us are very interesting 40 and 50 year olds. “The other 99%” of us who are not techno geeks probably would not agree that you are so “far ahead” of us. Could you carry on an intelligent conversation with me about canine IMHA? I doubt it. But I would not insult you for not knowing anything about veterinary medicine. Before you start denigrating your entire neighborhood, you might want to consider that there are plenty of us who know enough about technology to read your blog.

  9. I was one of the people at the gathering. One couple present was in their 60′s, the rest were younger. Robert’s ability to estimate age could use some work.

    I wonder what measure you are using, Robert, when you say you are “far ahead” of those who don’t share your interests? Far ahead how? A better person? Cooler? More “in”? More knowledgeable about your area of interest, certainly, but that can be said of many people.

  10. I was one of the people at the gathering. One couple present was in their 60′s, the rest were younger. Robert’s ability to estimate age could use some work.

    I wonder what measure you are using, Robert, when you say you are “far ahead” of those who don’t share your interests? Far ahead how? A better person? Cooler? More “in”? More knowledgeable about your area of interest, certainly, but that can be said of many people.

Comments are closed.