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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled: A Digital Dissident

February 4th, 2023 by Michael Dyet

I grow old… I grow old

I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled

~ T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Hmmm, does it make me at risk of being irrelevant and swept aside if I long for the days before we were swept into the vortex?

Now that I am less than two months from retirement, I may soon have to change the title of this series of posts to Now That I am Old. But that will not lessen my longing for simpler times before we were drawn into the vortex of digital age. Those blissful days…

When multitasking meant remembering to pick up bread and milk on my way home from work. Versus 2023 when my brain is on the brink of overload at any given moment and insistent virtual alarms make me want to bash all digitally driven devices with a sledge hammer.

When friend meant someone I knew by name, by sight and by the sound of their voice. Versus 2023 when it means someone I acquire by clicking a button, will likely never meet and only recognize by their avatar.

When the only numbers I had to remember where my house or apartment address, my telephone number and the combination of the lock for my locker at work or at school. Versus 2023 when I have more codes and passwords than brain cells left to remember them.

When there were only a dozen television channels and accessing them was a one-step process. Versus 2023 when the options abound but finding my way to many of them requires a digital dexterity I simply do not possess.

When security meant locking my door and my car and having a dog to scare off prowlers. Versus 2023 when there are so many virtual doors to my personal information and assets that I cannot stand guard at all of them nor grasp the logistics of the digital locks.

When a good mechanic could diagnose a problem with my car by the sound it was making. Versus 2023 when a diagnostic device converses with the computer components in my car and makes its best guess at the problem based on the infinite interaction of bits and bytes.

When money was something I could hold in my hand and store in my pocket. Versus 2023 when money is fast becoming a theoretical concept which grows or shrinks in value based on lines on a graph and can vanish without a trace while I sleep.

When I could I pick up the telephone to call a company and speak to a live operator who would connect me to the person I needed to speak with. Versus 2023 when I have to go to war with a soulless voice mail system, take ten minutes and three cycles through the system to find my way to the right option, be told that the estimated wait time is 45 minutes and be unceremoniously disconnected at the 43 minute mark.

If this longing for a simpler time dooms me to be irrelevant, so be it. I am and always will be a digital dissident battling for survival in the vortex. When I retire very soon, I make start a resistance movement. Will you join me in the cause?

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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