I could lie to you by suggesting there are myriad Fogies out there beavering away, hoovering up info from the Internet and trying to make some sort of sense of it.  But I won’t.  It’s just me with some research assistance from Alex Mansbridge, who I’ve never actually met or even spoken to on the telephone but who is evidently reliable and dilligent and glad of the deposits into his bank account.  This lack of personal interaction seems to be the way the world is going.  The teenage son of a friend of mine, smitten with a girl he’d been having on-line social contact with for about a year, found himself sitting next to the object of his fevered desire on the school bus.  They recognised each other from photos posted on-line.  There was a silence but it wasn’t awkward because instead of engaging in even a stumbling attempt at conversation, they texted each other.  No talk; just tapping.  To them this was completely natural.  Perhaps you have teenage children and think it normal too.  I find it slightly disturbing.  Although having said that I probably would have had far more success with the opposite sex when I was 14 if I’d never opened my big fat mouth. It almost harks back to the age of billets-doux – furtively exchanged snippets of handwritten ardour.  Speech; who needs it?

Eventually I’m hoping to entice a bevvy of proper writers to contribute to the site and expand its remit until nobody feels that technology and the digital universe is not for them.  With a little application and engagement we can all partake of the wonders that are being wrought for our pleasure, entertainment and edification.  And maybe I’ll finally get to grips with predictive texting.

I’ve written for GQ, The Financial Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard, ES Magazine, Harpers and Queen, Woman and Home, Maxim, The Daily Mail and wrote about gadgets for Seven, The Sunday Telegraph’s arts magazine.  There was a radio programme too – Sorted on BBC Radio 5 Live – that I co-presented and had some hand in creating but that was back in the last millenium.

I spent four years writing about gizmos and technology for Seven but never really thought I knew enough.  Still don’t.  It’s a learning curve that’s become ever steeper the further I’ve climbed.  I can only hope Tech Fogey helps unravel a few of the mysteries; as much for me as for you.

Stephen Ferns         Feb 2011