By Ruth Topper
Do you have any idea what it is like to be a non-techie in an ever expanding technological world? I have first-hand knowledge on this subject! I experience frustration on a near daily basis due to my lack of skills in the high tech arena. There are times when it is embarrassing because I just don’t know how to do things that it seems like everyone else can do. My kids roll their eyes at me & make fun of my “inabilities.” I try to explain to them that I made it successfully through my college years without much technology (an electric typewriter with a correction tape was high tech then) and I was 32 years old before I had my first cell phone. Somehow this just doesn’t mean much to them!
So – I thought I would share with you a few of my challenges. Hopefully, I am not alone…
1. Television – Yes, I do know how to turn on all of the TV’s in my house and can even change the channels. However – if my kids happen to have been playing video games on the x-box and didn’t return to the “TV” viewing mode – I am lost. Which one of the 3 remotes in that room do I even start with? How do I get the TV to a place where I can watch a favorite TV show?
I’m sure many of you have “On Demand” like we do. This is where you can watch a television show from a few days ago or last week that you missed. Guess what – if I miss “Survivor” this week – I’m not watching it – unless someone else in my house wants to catch-up too. I have no idea where you go or what you do to access the “On Demand” feature.
Likewise – if you came to my house today with your favorite movie on a DVD I would have no idea how to get the TV set up to watch it. I could get the DVD into the player – but which one of those remotes do I use? Good or bad – every DVD I have seen in the past 10 years has been one that my kids or husband wants to see too – so there has been no need to learn how to perform this function!
2. Smart Phones – I do have a “smart phone.” Too bad it doesn’t make me feel very smart on many days. We upgraded our phones when it was time for our “plan” to be renewed last summer. Of course it was the 14 year old who was pushing for her own iphone. In a few days I had all the basics down – how to make a call, accept a call and text. After that, we had a definite slow down! I watch people around me using their phones to reply to their e-mail, “googling” a topic that we are discussing to get more information, getting directions, utilizing “apps” for their weight control or to see how far, how fast & how long it took them on their recent run, taking pictures and then immediately uploading them to Facebook, etc. I am jealous of their technological abilities. Friends tell me that they just start “playing around” with the options on their phones & figure things out. If I started doing this – I would end up changing the language to Japanese and would really be in trouble!
3. Digital Watches – I mentioned above that friends I know have “apps” on their phones to help measure how far they have gone on a run, etc. A year or so ago I invested in a digital watch just to be able to have the length of time of my run. (I don’t necessarily need all that other “stuff” and knew that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use it anyway). This watch has multiple functions such as a stop watch, split timing, and an alarm that would go off without fail at 1:25 a.m. every morning. I know this because for the life of me I never could figure out how to turn the alarm off and if I forgot to leave the watch downstairs it would wake me (and my happy husband) up every night! And …… since I couldn’t figure out how to change the time on the watch – for ½ of the year after Daylight Savings Time would begin I would need to remember that my watch was 1 hour off the actual time – until the clocks would change again!
So what does this all mean for me? It means that I dream of being a “techie.” I would love to have all the latest gadgets & be proficient at using them. I would love to be the person that people brought their tech issues to & I could magically fix them. Somehow I’m not seeing this dream anywhere in my immediate future. However, I think that there are ways that I could improve my technological skill set.
What tips or suggestions do you have to help me get started? Are you already a “techie” or do you have a dream, like me?