Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

I’m technologically stunted.

Seventeen years ago, I felt like I was better than people. I was on the cusp of internet connectivity, you guys. I knew basic HTML. I chatted with people on telnet (look it up, young people). I blogged when blogging was still referred to as journaling online. I remember the days before Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, and GOOGLE (for crying out loud).

I used to smirk about my dad, who felt like emails were too frustrating.

Oh, karma. You’re adorable.

Now, I can’t keep up with a damn thing. I was married before dating websites became a thing. I’ve never “swiped left.” I’ve tried using Snapchat so many times, putting it on my phone, getting irritated, and then uninstalling it because I just can’t hang with the cool kids. Tumblr? No way. There’s another one with subheaders and I can’t even remember what it’s called. What is it? This is embarrassing. It’s called…um. It’s significant. I’ll come back to this.

I refuse to consider that drawing a blank right now is a senior moment.

When I go further then “:)” as an emoji, I feel like a fraud. There are all these pictures now, 90% of which serve zero purpose. When would I need a cactus emoji? A face with a tongue sticking out with squinty eyes? A high-heeled shoe? I don’t get it! I cannot keep up. And people will end sentences with a series of these tiny pictures. How do they do that? I have to fumble through the menu of all of them before tentatively picking one or two out, pretending I know what the hell I’m doing.

The woman who sits next to me at work uses that area of the internet that I can’t think of, and I’m fighting the urge to ask her what the website (app?) is, because that feels like it would be failure. Surrender. But it’s driving me insane.

I’m trying to build my first stand-up routine right now. I mean, not right now right now, but in the same space as this day. And I got to thinking about getting older, which got me to thinking about how there are way too many times I still think I’m relevant, when obviously, I’m really not.

I’ve achieved the age where I can drop “back in my day” without irony.

I had a bag phone. In my car. For emergencies. There were curfews enforced that did not involve texting and being able to track your children via GPS.

If I was late, I knew I would find my mother standing in the doorway in her nightgown, seething with anxiety, if I was home a minute past 11:00 pm. Do parents even get out of their beds any more? I have a child hurtling toward her teen years, and I can’t begin to fathom it.

Side note: Do moms still wear nightgowns? Should I get some?

Confession: I don’t even know how to build a music collection any more. I stopped knowing how after CDs were bypassed by MP3s. This likely explains why I haven’t been able to keep up with music trends since roughly 1998.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and pictures were posted online of me, holding my newborn daughter — ten years ago. I didn’t know these pictures existed. Evidently, they live in a “cloud” now. They made me cry — partially because they took me back, but also because stuff has gotten so advanced that I don’t even know where to find this stuff any more. So yes, I will be making an old-school photo album, and I will not call it scrapbooking, which I think is what photo albums became in the nineties.

And I still can’t come up with that fucking online network of jokes and sub-genres and news items.

REDDIT. I caved and asked my neighbor. This is who I am now.

Po-po-po-poker face, po-po-po-ker face

It has been a curious 2017 so far, emotionally.