Friday, September 28, 2012

Technologically Illiterate

I've always been at least 10 years behind technology, sometimes more. I finally just got rid of movies on VHS a few months ago. And you don't even want to know when I switched to a digital camera or when I learned to text. I was very late to the party. A party I didn't even want to go to and drug my feet all the way there. Because, I don't like change. Or staying out past 11pm. And I hate spending time trying to figure out how things work. Which makes me realize, I don't think it's just my cell phone that's outdated, I think it's me. I'm completely technologically illiterate.

I could use the excuse that I've been in Africa for the last two and a half years with shoddy internet service, an old computer, a crappy cell phone and no tv. And that's why I'm so far behind. But it started way before that. And truth is, I've just never been too interested in anything with a screen. I don't like video games and I can't give up trading in turning the pages of a book for the convenience of a kindle. Even though it would be really good for the environment and would help unclutter my house. I'm just a bit more retro. Retroactively lazy.

Take last night. The kids didn't have much homework, so I thought they could watch some tv, even though we don't normally watch tv on school nights. Having no idea what's on, I looked it up. Or I tried to. I looked up Comcast cable, which is what we have, but, it's not listed under that. It took me a while to realize it's listed as xfinity. Anyhow, I scroll through the schedule of complete and utter crap until I finally find Dirty Jobs. Perfect. Except, of the numerous channels I pay for, of course we don't get THAT one. And you know I don't have a DVR so there is no convenient stash of cool programs like Myth Busters ready to go in it's stead. Although, I admit I still do have a VCR. Although, I still don't know how that works and we don't have any tapes left to play anyway. Finally, we just flicked around and found the Disney channel. Which I can't believe I got. Then I thought about it and I'm sure there's just going to be a charge on my next cable bill for a fast pass or something.

Over the summer I got a MacBook Pro. Not because I wanted one. Because our two computers we had in Morocco got fried in the voltage conversion and stopped working. We've never owned an apple before. Although my kids used apple computers in school before. So, while they were familiar with how to use them, I wasn't. Even though Craig set up accounts and parental controls for the kids, I still don't know how those work. And I know the kids can completely outwit me. Not that they've tried. At least I don't think do. Now I'm questioning if having my oldest son tutor me on how to use the computer is a good thing or not. What if he's just trying to figure out what I don't know so he can use that against me and have access to anything he wants?


Then there's my cell phone. It's the cheapest piece of crap Walmart sells. After all, I don't need fancy bells and whistles. That would just mean I'd have to learn how to ring the bells and blow the whistles. All that matters is that I can call and text. But, when I started texting, I realized I can't see the letters without my reading glasses. And hell if I'm going to go find my glasses to use my phone. So I'm pretty sure there are a million typos in my texts if they're decipherable at all. To make matters worse, just yesterday, my punctuation buttons stopped working. So now, I end up typing one big, long typo infused run on sentence. Which then necessitates, me calling the person to clarify what I just texted. Which, of course, defeats the whole purpose of texting in the first place.


I am one of about 134 people left in America who still has a house phone. Obviously, I need a house phone, because my cell phone is so crappy. But, I don't have a normal house phone. We have a vintage 1940's rotary dial telephone. Not only am I completely confined to a two foot radius while I'm on the phone, the only people who call on it are telemarketers and debt collectors. And the phone is located right next to my computer where I do my writing. So yesterday, after a few calls from the Mitt Romney campaign and about 20 more from debt collectors looking for Matthew, I'm pissed. So call number 21 goes something like this:

Debt Collector: Can I speak to Matthew?
Me: There is no one named Matthew here (spoken in my angry voice). You know, I get like 20 calls a day for him and he DOESN'T live here!
Debt Collector: Did you get separated or divorced?
Me: I NEVER EVEN DATED MATTHEW! LET ALONE MARRY, SEPARATE OR DIVORCE FROM MATTHEW! GOD, I'VE NEVER EVEN KISSED A MATTHEW! EVER. MAYBE YOU'D HAVE MORE SUCCESS IF YOU FUCKING FACEBOOK STALK HIM OR SOMETHING. CAUSE MAYBE HE COULDN'T PAY HIS FUCKING PHONE BILL EITHER. BUT JUST STOP CALLING ME!

Just to let you know, no one's called for Matthew today. But, I am thinking about getting caller id. I figure that will bring me up to the 1990's at least.

9 comments:

SherilinR said...

caller ID is one of the best technological creations i've ever run into. i even got my mom around onto that bandwagon eventually. screen those calls, baby!

Sine said...

Lol. I'm with you on most of this. Except the good news for lateadopters is you sometimes leapfrog crappy technology and also save money cause prices have come down 10 yrs later. I'm wondering, should I get that MacBook too? Everyone says they regret not having done so ages ago...

The Loerzels said...

@ SherilinR-I'm not sure I need to anymore!
@Sine-I regret my husband was right that I should've taken the class offered at the Apple store to teach you how to use a MacBook Pro.

Wendy Loerzel said...

Keep the land line!!! as a former 9-1-1 operator, it takes all the guess work out of a panic situation when you have any child or adult know where the phone is, and how to use it. Some cell's are confusing to kids and they may not have your password to even use it! A land line will at least pull up the address you are at and make it easier to send you help. When you have a pool or hot tub it's even more a "must" for me to have. Lots of people do not take the time to note the physical address where they are. Don't look for me to get rid of my land line anytime soon! ;)

Sandra said...

Don't bother with the caller ID. The people you're trying to avoid have private numbers anyway. I will say this though, I thought I was a technotard, but then I thought you might be a bigger one when I started reading this post, and THEN you announced that you have an Mac computer. Ummm...I win the boobie prize. I tried using my friend's at school last semester, I couldn't even figure out how the mouse worked.

The Loerzels said...

@Wendy-I would never get rid of the house phone, it's great entertainment for the kids and Sky gets to practice his schtick.
@Sandra-Don't let the Mac fool you, I waste as much time trying to figure out how to do things on it as I do using it.

Zafira said...

Sad to say, I still have a lot of VHS tapes, they're perfectly good!

Hajra said...

I love caller id and I am still trying my best to catch up to technology. I still don't have an iPad or a kindle or whatever. I still like my laptop and I like reading books as in books! I don't get too crazy about technology. It just drives me crazy

Joy Page Manuel said...

Things we have in common: a no-bells-and-whistles phone because like you, I only need one that calls and texts; and we too have a house phone, although it is with magic jack/voip and don't ask me how it works or how to trouble shoot when it breaks down. I'm clueless too.

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