My very first ‘Social Media For Business’ class at the ACE Community College in Mullumbimby, and of course, out of ten students, I’m the bunny who knows bugger-all about Facebook … the bottom rung on the social media ladder. What’s worse, I’m in front of a PC for the first time and unable to find the button that turns the damn thing on (a sad reminder of my first dating experience). My pain is exacerbated by a competitive streak wider than Ian Thorpe’s fin-span. I don’t do classroom-loser well. This can be attributed to chocolate, for in my primary school days whole blocks of the stuff were the learning enticement to win at everything from Times Tables to Let’s Find Wally. Even now, in my fifties, I’m convinced being first to finish a yoga class will fast-track my enlightenment.
So what the hell am I doing here? I’m here under instructions from my Facebooking de Facto, because she thinks it’s the communication tool of the future. Geez, how many ways does a bloke have to learn how to say ‘yes dear’? She feels I’m dropping out of the technological – social loop. Maybe she’s right, since it appears I’m about to spend this entire class just trying to log on. And to think, I sat in my first computer class way back in the 70’s when data was hole-punched onto cards. Of course, I punched the wrong hole and got nowhere fast, yet another sad reminder of my first dating experience.
Max then issues the fatal instruction, “Insert your password”. Password … after the amount of beer I’ve consumed I struggle to remember my partner’s first name, let alone my dog’s second. Maybe my password is a hyphenated version of the two …oh no, you can’t have hyphens and you must include a digit … but don’t make the digit too obvious otherwise Darth Vader will come to my house and light-sabre my dog Bruce, and what’s-her-name. And so after three password stabs in the dark the thing may as well scream out ‘Hey loser, try again after the lobotomy’. God’s honour Mr Facebook, I promise not to crash your $gazillion party … but that’s not enough, is it? You want CIA checks, baptism records and a stool analysis before you let me enter your creepy world, when all I want is the de facto off my back.
Despite the steam billowing from my ears and the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ sign spinning around my neck, Max attempts to convince me modern computers are user friendly. How tragic that this unfriendly user is highly unlikely to share Max’s enthusiasm … or his chocolate.