you kids, get off my lawn

Okay, pipsqueaks. Enough is enough. You can borrow a bingo card idea. You can suggest that we are mean or out of touch for laughing at the quirks of the ASA meetings. But you cannot, under any circumstances, suggest that we don’t understand Twitter because we are old.

the “chronically hip grad student” square was not just, as Nathan Jurgenson asserted, a mainstream culture-embedded dig at hipsters, but also an indication of a general discomfort among less technologically savvy sociologists at the increasing use of technology to augment professional scholarly activities, often though not always by colleagues younger than themselves.

Forget that we have been blogging since before you had your first pimple. Forget that Kieran, in particular, is a guy whom technology gurus ask for advice on tools. Let’s just talk Twitter. When you sign up for your Twitter account, you get a number. Look it up: we have been tweeting as long or longer than you!

We could be on the same side, riding our white horses through the gates of the ASA to demand more bandwidth and a tweeting section in meeting rooms. We could attend the blog party together under the spirit of united communication technology. Like you, we have been asking the ASA for wifi for years! But as long as you’re going to call us old fogeys who just don’t understand how awesome Twitter is, I am keeping your ball and you can get off my lawn.

10 thoughts on “you kids, get off my lawn”

  1. Love this post, Tina!

    Also, only among academics would twitter still be considered chronically hip. I mean, CNN devotes segments entirely to reading tweets, and tons of businesses have feeds. It’s just another tool for certain kinds of communication at this point. I found it moderately useful at the conference (e.g. for finding the food court the first day) and enjoyed the occasional tweet about a session I was at, but mostly they added very little.

    I’m going to bed. Clearly, I’m too old and uncool to be up this late.

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  2. Technically, if we are keeping score, various of the Scatterplot masthead can claim primacy at least to: (1) using Twitter, (2) celebrating the possibility of people tweeting the ASA meetings, and (3) trying to supplement Kieran’s bingo card with upbeat alternatives. What can we say? We are old.

    Yet: that said, the point that the quoted post ultimately gets around to at its very end is one I agree with. In general, I agree with nearly all of the enthusiasm about the possibilities of Twitter that have been expressed. I did make an earlier statement in a blog post that “But I can see where other people might think [something negative],” which I thought would clearly convey that this was not my own view, but apparently the preface did not work as hoped. C’est la tweet.

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  3. This reminds me of the great Wisconsin vs. Arizona blog battle of 2004, when we were all going to get together at ASA and duke it out over who was the hippest. Someone threatened to take off my ear and serve it up on a platter.

    Ah, those were the days…..

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    1. And that might have been the same year (or was it 2003?) that those punk bloggers from Berkeley claimed that they were going to reinvent public sociology through blogs, said a bunch of crap about people being out of touch, made a big showing at ASA at the first ever blog party, and then dropped off the face of the earth when they made their public blog private.

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      1. In their defense, I don’t think we were the public they wanted. What they really wanted was a public that was entirely sympathetic to their views. So, hey, making the blog private was really the best way to reach their target public.

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  4. For the hopeless unhip, this blog has a great layout for the iPad.

    That being said, if you are all old, and those others are young — does that make me middle aged? And if so, am I required to go out and buy the sociologists version of the Porsche for my midlife crisis? Which would be?

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