The hipsters in Silicon Valley are always laughing at me.
Well, not so much at me, as at my email address. Here in the Bay Area, birthplace of the personal computer, my email "at AOL dot com" makes me a technology geezer. I've been using AOL since the 90's, before some of those pierced, tattooed wippersnappers who run the world today were born.
But, in the dinosaur age of the internet, when it took about five noisy minutes to connect on a dial-up modem, before anyone ever heard of Google or Twitter, AOL was right on the cutting edge. Even the gleaming disk I remember using to install America Online software on my clunky desktop PC looked like something from a space ship.
But that disk changed my life. In the Apple II era, my first emails, sent only to fellow nerds with computers, was nothing less than a miracle. Pressing a button and sending electronic messages seemed so high-tech as to be from a Star Trek episode.
Today, AOL email is so old-fashioned it's actually laughable. One website called AOL email "the digital equivalent of an AARP card". But I'm embracing the humiliation.