Some notes

Somehow odd, and hence qua­li­fy­ing to be publis­hed as a blog post (ins­tead of a tweet): pop-cul­tu­re-wise, some of my off­line friends (regard­less of their age, btw) seem to be living under a mas­si­ve rock. A rock so huge that they don’t seem to rea­li­ze anything hap­pe­ning out­side of their world.

Am I the only one who expe­ri­en­ces this? I mean, I have friends — good and dear friends — who don’t care about any con­tem­pora­ry cul­tu­ral deve­lo­p­ments, like good music or other com­mer­cial art. You don’t have to be an online geek like me, fol­low any reddit/imgur posts or need to know any inter­net meme, you don’t need to fol­low the news / poli­tics or know anything about the tech­no­lo­gi­cal chan­ges sur­roun­ding us. But some­thing small.…something would be most welcome.

When I talk to them, I have to make sure not to men­ti­on anything that might have been deve­lo­ped after 1980. Some­ti­mes I need to exp­lain basics like the mea­ning of “nerd”.

Some of the­se friends have an e‑mail address. An inbox they check out once a mon­th. To reach them, I need to call or send an sms. A short mes­sa­ge (yeah!), becau­se they don’t even have a smartphone.

The­se off­line friends — I real­ly like them. But still — they are odd. In a con­tem­pora­ry con­text, pro­bab­ly as odd to me as the­se Cos­play geeks may be to my mother. 

The worst group out the­re, howe­ver, aren’t the­se “Off­liners”, but ins­tead the group in bet­weeen: the FB-haters who don’t post anything out of fear a future employ­er may track some­thing emba­ras­sing; the FB-haters who keep on men­tio­ning how their kids keep them busy and away from the key­board (~ while the­re are a bunch of other mums and dads online who are oversha­ring); the social-media-haters who dis­miss Twit­ter as a was­te of time BUT at the time publish all their men­tal sen­si­ti­vi­ties via the off­line back­chan­nel also known as Whats­App (!). The off­liners who will oversha­re “fun­ny” pics and vide­os you’­ve seen on 9gag three years ago. On WhatsApp.

The same group may btw not even know what a Bar­Camp is all about.

And then the­re’s this group:

Another brilliant one via XKCD (src: http://xkcd.com/920/)

Ano­t­her bril­li­ant one via XKCD (src: http://xkcd.com/920/) (thx, Hinek!)

You’­re having din­ner with a few friends and then someo­ne pulls out his pho­ne and men­ti­ons, how he/she has recent­ly seen a nice You­Tube video and yad­da­y­ad­da­y­ad­da… what fol­lows is a pro­lon­ged You­Tube ses­si­on with unin­te­res­ted par­ties sharing “fun­ny” vide­os online. “Oh, have you seen THIS one.…”. 

And the­re you go won­de­ring about Buz­z­feed and Mas­ha­ble sharing yet ano­t­her “Best of…”, “the best [nomi­na­liz­a­ti­on]…”, “Top 7 rea­sons why…” etc. post.

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Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at Saniblog.org. You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

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