iGUESS: "Resistance is futile" they told us. And they were right. And we gave in.
Instead of what we expected- the usual "egad- Grandpa 'friended' me on Facebook"- our progeny actually forced us to sign up and waste an inordinate amount of our formerly precious time.
It was not just familial insistence- there are now people whose email accounts are so jammed with spam that they no longer open them in favor of being "liked," "shared," and "poked."
It's not all bad. For those who have been on another planet, on Facebook one can "share" practically anything on-line these days at the click of a mouse and they show up in your friends' "news feed"- although the word "news" is often a misnomer.
And who'd a thunk it? All our "friends" seem to be radical lefties who, for the last few weeks have been posting every article available on the "Occupy Wall Street" protests.
We've received slews of hand selected commentaries on corporate greed and related subjects like sustainability and consumerism.
Many of the protesters apparently bemoan our corporate culture which thrives on creating demand for products that we didn't even know we wanted much less needed until we saw the clever ads and decided that, although yesterday we'd never contemplated owning one, now we suddenly can't live without it. Then, as soon as we all own one, our corporate overlords and marketing geniuses suddenly come up with something else we never knew we needed to replace what we just bought so we can throw that "old" crap in the closet and buy the latest thing. More money for more junk, to consume more electricity- all to fill the pockets of more bazillionaires.
Then yesterday- and you probably know where we're going with this- all our radical activist "friends" suddenly took a day off from attacking unsustainable consumerist greed because they were apparently devastated by the death of Steve Jobs... the king of "acceptable" consumerism.
Although we've been one of those eye-rollers at those who pray at the altar of Apple, we're no less schizophrenic in our habit of using a computer and the internet to research and write, if not actual Luddite-themed tomes, then certainly anti-consumerist and even anti-capitalist screeds.
We're not sure why, for many, Steve Jobs sits at the right hand of god while Bill Gates works fanning the flames of hell for Satan. Is it because Jobs seemed to anticipate what we would decide we needed once he purveyed it while Gates merely filled the demanded niche before anyone else? Why is the size of Gates' wallet a topic that spurs anger from we in the new anti-corporate greed movement which is entrenched on Wall Street- and increasingly every city and town across the country- while no one even cares that Jobs left a tiny bundle upon his departure, thank you very much?
We don't own an iPad, an iPhone or an iAnything and have no desire to do so. Heck, we don't even own a cell phone and can be caught complaining to those who do about how, just as "they" perfected the sound in telephones so that voices on the other side of the world come through landlines like we're in the same room, someone went out and invented a device that make Bell's first phone sound clear as a bell in comparison.
We own a the biggest-bang-for-the-cheapest-price PC we could find and constantly kvetch about how the broadband for which we Americans pay $50 a month goes for under ten buck across Europe.
But that doesn't excuse us for the same hypocrisy as the Jobs worshipers practice.
We can remember a conversation a while back with a close friend bemoaning the way our agricultural lands were being lost to agricultural condominiumization. Then she suddenly got a tear in her eye and asked "well w-w-where's m-m-my ag condo?".
So go ahead and preach sustainability while you snatch up the the next "i" product you didn't know you needed until you saw it and then wondered how you could possibly have lived without. It's all part of being an American consumer.
And unless and until we think about it, most of us wouldn't have it any other way.