JUST THINKING: I’m more of a typewriter kind of girl

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

Technology is not my thing. I know just enough to get by for most basic daily tasks, but am lost with anything that requires a little more depth.

People who know me well — like my kids — avoid asking me to do anything that, for example, involves remotes. I can never remember which gadget does what with the TV, which does what with the cable, and which does what with the DVD thingy. Even if I did know what clicker to use, there are all those buttons.

Also causing confusion — at least for me — is the technology in my car. I’m pretty sure my vehicle could drive itself if I knew which button to push. I was proud when I learned how to use the navigation system, but several times have ended up in the wrong place anyway because of operator error. I’ve had a little trouble linking Pandora from my phone to my car, too, but by randomly pushing buttons, I discovered it works most of the time if I simply turn the radio off and then back on again. Sophisticated problem solving method, I know.

Don’t ask me to do anything fancy on my phone either. Right after I got it, I was thinking I’d impress my kids by showing them how to use Siri, a voice recognition program. Except that I’d misunderstood the sales guy at the phone store and, it turns out, Siri didn’t work like I thought. In the end, my youngest daughter was the one who impressed me by showing what it could do — she’d learned how to use it from friends.

Speaking of magic, there’s a lot of technical lingo — or as I think of it, mumbo jumbo — that goes right over my head. I’m lucky enough to work with two of the smartest guys on the planet when it comes to all things IT and digital. But get the two of them talking about computers and software and it starts to sound like Martian. “The pixels or gigs in Linux might be iOS or VDP, but Gnutella also might be it.” Huh? I was pretty sure I put Gnutella on my toast, but then discovered it’s actually a “file sharing network” — whatever that is.

I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to technology. But I’m just going to be perfectly honest and say I don’t really care to delve too deeply into it either. While I’m grateful for how far all these gadgets and gizmos and all their accoutrements have gotten us, I’m a typewriter, wired phone, eight-track tape kind of girl.

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