About the Colony

No need for Facebook, chirpy cars or ATMs

My children and a number of friends have asked me why I won’t join them on Facebook. Maybe this will help explain it.

I pounded a manual typewriter until forced to give it up to a keyboard connected to a little TV screen when the newspaper “upgraded” to the world of computers. I never trusted the electric typewriter and always knew that when the power was out, I couldn’t write.

I loved writing my stuff and hanging it on a hook waiting for an editor to read it. With computers, journalists became type-setters, too.

I found a way to immobilize the bells and buzzers on at least three of my past cars because I couldn’t stand the noise when I left the key in the ignition and had the door open. I didn’t take to being reminded I had the key in the ignition. Of course, I’ll admit I lock my keys in the car a lot, too.I don’t have one of those little cards that lets you go to a slot in the wall at your bank and get money out on a Sunday morning.

Let’s face it, I’m a classic Luddite. You know, that class of 19th century English workmen engaged in attempting to prevent the use of labor-saving machinery by trying to destroy it.

You could probably still sell me stock in a buggy whip company.

My cellphone has no apps. I don’t tweet, or twit or whatever it is called. I feel a sense of rage whenever I see a teen walking down the sidewalk with a cellphone pressed to his or her head or thumbs punching out a text message.

I avoid the social media as much as is possible. My only concession is to having email. I read in the newspaper recently that 70 percent of people text one another. I’m proud to be in the 30 percent who don’t.

I see no good coming from all this technology.

I’ve tried to engage a number of teens in conversation when trapped in a room with them. They don’t seem able to talk with adults, but prefer to sit at the table and check their phone every 11 minutes.

I will confess to being slightly disingenuous here. That is because I have two or three friends living throughout the United States who, after moving from Atascadero, continue to read my column by getting onto The Tribune’s website.

Even Luddites learned they couldn’t put down fast enough all those newfangled devices that were being invented in the 19th century.

Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly four decades. His column appears here every week. He can be reached at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.