Oh, look at me: the savvy blogger. iPhone in hand. Laptop at the ready. Twitter feed scrolling. iChat dinging. Hulu faves playing. RSS feeds ... well, accumulating.
For all my early-adopter DNA, there are pockets of online life I cannot connect to. From memory meetups to wicked wikis to silly security, here are my top 10 "I'll pass" technologies:
- The Next Generation of Security Questions. Once, registering to check your cell phone bill online required little more than your phone number, a shaky password and your mother's maiden name. That maiden name was like the open ID of security. If you could just remember that and your "last four" you were all set.
Today's security questions demand your pet's name, your favorite author, your best friend, your favorite sports team. Blame my shoddy memory or my chronic indecision, but my favorite animal/author/athlete are a slippery slope of ever-changing affinities that I'm not ready to commit my account access to.
(Incidentally, I blame the Family Tree farmers for this unfortunate turn of events. Far too easy to track down such things with rampant human cataloging online.)
- Giving up email. How much do I love the IDEA of wikis and boards and other many:many communications? About as much as I fear actually adopting them. I need my home base. My weedy, out-of-control inbox that I can sort by name and search by whatever thread of conversation I happen to actually remember.
I need the one spot that notifications of everything else will come to. Where I can imagine some privacy. Where I can stack up correspondence relatively guilt-free by merely applying the always-hopeful "mark as unread" designation.
- Accepting ugly for function. Speaking of wikis. Or myspace. Or Twitter. Or half the new blogs I've been pointed to lately. I hate ugly. I hate super practical. I hate the point of view that we'll all just subscribe anyway; so, appearance doesn't matter.
I appreciate table linens with casual dining. Wide-brimmed hats and delightful dresses at Shakespeare in the park. Helmets that match whatever two-wheeled device gas prices have you riding. I like a little ambiance. An appreciation that the experience matters. And, I'm not willing to give it up just because something is free / works great / is brilliant.
- 15 year gaps. Humans I haven't seen since high school popping up as Facebook friends. Long-lost boyfriends emailing me their latest MP3s. Holiday letters from long-forgotten neighbors boredly googling their address books. (Stranger still when these ghosts of dorm rooms past are people who didn't even like you in the first place.)
I don't know how to re-connect over gaps that far. What clever questions or meaningful updates will make this interaction anything more than a cocktail quip when we get back to our real lives? I am at a loss for where to even begin.
- Local strangers. For me, Twitter is the first truly local social media. The one where my contacts are more likely to be sitting in the same traffic as I am than triple-tapping to 40404 halfway across the country or the world.
This has created a whole new form of social introduction. At a party, a restaurant, a staff meeting, the voice accompanying the extended hand is saying, Hi, I'm @so-and-so. People I communicate with every day. People who live down the street. People who I only know by an anonymous handle until we're thrown together as Advergirl and @billyfischer.
I feel like a great CB voice at a hopping truck stop.
- Integrating devices. As willing as I am to try anything online, I
am scared to death of actual machines. I have a rather shocking number
of game systems floating around the house. Plus various TVs, tivos,
computers. None of them are connected.
I WANT to take my PS3 online. But, find myself intimidated by the box. By a whole category of technology I let pass me by.
- Tagging. Live for today, my friends. Archives will fend for themselves. Like wikis, I understand the power of tagging, but, in practice, I just archive with impunity. No self-created hierarchies. No clever recall tools. Just a big pile of data to match the big pile of paper I keep in the offline world.
- Group shopping. Oh, Kaboodle. Oh Lemonade Stands. How you baffle me. It's my offline aversion to browsing (and girl talk) brought online, but, still, it's a quickly growing category that I cannot seem to attach to.
- Virtual notes. If it's over 4 pages, I want to print it out. I really do. I want to dogear and scribble notes and flag and tactilely consume. I have notebook installed in Firefox. I test-drove the Kindle. They're not for me. If it's worth reading, it's worth fingerprinting.
- More blog rankings and ratings. Every month I get a new one. Advergirl is rated B by Blog Buddy. Or 85 by Rate Rank. I don't get all the algorithms; so it just becomes more for me to either obsess or feel angry and short-changed about. ToddAnd got to me first. The only rankings hurting my self esteem in the near future will continue to be the AdAge Power 150. The rest of you - go tell Griner he's just average!