Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok speaking to members of Congress. C-Span 3

Full disclosure right up front, I’m old and like totally lame —as square as Elon Musk or our previous president trying to dance. I Facebook once in a blue moon. I have never Instantly Grahamed or Chatted-Snappy with anyone. I have a Twitter account, I think; they made me at the last place I worked. But I don’t follow a single solitary soul, including myself.

I seem to have lost track of all my passwords — make that password since I use the same one for everything, so I won’t forget them all. Now I just forget the one. I know, I know, lame-o.

I started texting about a year ago at my son’s urging. I’m 73.

When I heard about this TikTok business, and how it is going to destroy life as we know it here in America, my first thought was Hickory Dickory Dock. You probably know the ditty:

Hickory Dickory Dock
Three mice ran up the clock
The clock struck one and other two escaped with minor injuries.

In some versions that are meant to be sung, the last line in the stanza is Tick tock, tick tock, etc. etc. Note the correct spelling.

I only know about TikTok because a bipartisan gaggle of U.S. Congress persons were yelling at a TikTok person whom they summoned to the Capital to yell at, so it looks like they are doing something. And they were. They were yelling, which is what passes for political discourse today.

I did some research on that internet. TikTok is more popular than print newspapers, attracting about a quarter of the U.S. population above the age of five. Pretty soon we’ll get all our news from TikTok, you know, like the latest on twerking (whatever that is, or was; it may be passé for all I know.)

The 25- to 54-aged demographic spends an average of 45 minutes a day on this one app alone. That is disturbing all by itself, whether TikTok is owned by the Chinese government or the diners at the Last Supper.

Lame-o me was reading my local daily newspaper the other day, whilst our “leaders” were barbecuing that TikTok-er, and I learned that scientists, a vast preponderance of them, are warning that we all have about a decade left to forestall environmental Armageddon by keeping the average planetary temperature rise to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. If not, we will no longer be able, as they say in the sports world, to control our own (and our grandchildren’s) destiny.

If you have been following the weather (perchance on TikTok?) or if you actually venture outside periodically, you know it’s not normal out there, hasn’t been for decades. Here is southeastern Connecticut the ponds no longer freeze, and it snowed once this “winter.” Maybe our Congress folks will subpoena some weather forecasters and yell at them.

But first things first for our august statesmen and women in Washington, and beyond: besides grilling social media CEOs, there are transgender people to put in their place; school shootings to ignore, books to ban, history to deny, voting rights to restrict. They have a full plate.

Environmental alarm bells are ringing from sea to shining sea, and time is marching on, like your clock on the nightstand, tick tock, tick tock.

And the easiest thing to do is hit the snooze button. Talk about lame.

David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.