Wednesday, February 26, 2020

OK Boomer, the play

I guess he's about 70. He doesn't say much. His hobby is coming to the library that I work at. He doesn't check out books, or anything else for that matter. Every morning he grabs his favorite computer, tucked away near the coffee shop, and there he sits all day long, and most of the night. Every once in awhile he needs a little help.

"How do I sign up for this Reddit thing?" He asks.

I show him.

"I can't figure out this Facebook. Do I have to use my real name?"

"Can you show me how to get to my email again?"

"If I accidentally upvote how do I change that?"

"What's my password?"

The sad thing to that last question is that I actually know his password now.

Every once in awhile I see him working. It's almost like he's doing research, scrolling page after page, examining minutely, and making quick clicks. But he's only ever on generic social media pages. I can't find any theme to the content and he barely spends any time looking at any of it anyway.

Yesterday he called me over to show him how to close a window. Really, that's all it was. His computer skills aren't improving, but he plugs along regardless. We've gotten pretty familiar with each other despite his taciturnity. And my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him something I would virtually never ask a library patron. 

"So what are you doing all day on the computer?"

He got a strange smile on his face, shy, proud, and like he knows I'll think he's crazy all at once. "I go to pages where there are a lot of comments. I scroll through them looking for anyone anywhere who says "OK Boomer", then I downvote them."

"That's it?" I asked.


"OK." I said. He sort of looked challengingly at me as I said "OK". But I wasn't going to say anything more.

He shrugged.

"Let me show you "ctrl f" and what it can do." I said.

He was impressed. 

Most days lately he comes by and asks me to show it to him again.

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