Have you noticed lately that technology seems to be running amuck? Do you wish that everything would just SLOW DOWN long enough for you to learn how to program your VCR? Does changing the batteries in your 8-track player still send you into a tailspin? Do the words “hard drive” still make you think of your commute to work? Well, then, this article is for you!
But…how did you find this website? Perhaps someone left the computer on and you just happened by. If this is you, see that little round thingy with a a wire coming off of it? It’s right there…near the keyboard. No, not that!! That’s someone’s curling iron. Put that away. (Besides, I’m told “curling irons” are so YESTERDAY. It’s time to get a “Flat Iron”. It’s the opposite of a curling iron, and makes you look like you don’t care about your hair, but I digress…) I mean the oval thing with the two buttons near the top…and a wire that disappears under the desk. Yes, that! Now move it. Look at the screen. See the little pointer deal moving around? Yes, you have just learned how to operate a…”COMPUTER”, which happens to be providing the words you are reading. Okay, then. Go sit down and take deep breaths. You have come a long way. It’s time for a rest.
Some of you may be reading this thinking, “Come on! Who doesn’t know how to use a mouse!” If this is you, step outside your “technologically-savvy bubble”. There are still people out there who look at programming their VCR as an insurmountable task! Operating a computer, to them, is akin to climbing Mount Vesuvius. (I would say “Mount Everest”, but “Mount Vesuvius” sounds a lot better, and makes me think of those Godzilla movies where the words don’t fit the movement of the mouths of the Asian actors). So bear with me as I encourage our reading audience to tackle these challenges, wont you?
The struggle to deal with new technology is not a new problem. When Adam and Eve got their first mail-order Axe, it was a huge deal. Adam kept grabbing the wrong end and trying to beat the tree into submission with the handle. Not only would it take him MONTHS to club the tree trunk into bits and pieces, Adam’s hands would bleed profusely. Next thing you know, he’d get blood on the hand towels and bear rugs, which would NOT make Eve happy! How’s a girl supposed to keep a cave with her man running around with bloody hands? She’d no sooner clean the windows than Adam would come home, without firewood, and mess them all up again. Not only that, Adam would leave the ax on the floor, which would REALLY tick Eve off when she’d get up in the middle of the night and step on it on the way to the rest room. Eventually, however, they learned to properly use the new technology. Adam became a champion tree chopper and Eve’s feet began to heal. Life was good. Their lives became harmonious again…until the invention of MATCHES. That is another story.
So as you can see, the struggle to deal with “technology” is timeless. Don’t get down on yourself! You’re making HISTORY! Did you know that when “books” were invented, they posed serious challenges to those that were used to what is called “verbal tradition”? Yes! In days of old when information was passed along by word-of-mouth, things worked just fine. But then someone had to come along and, in the quest to improve life, invented the “book”. While you may consider a book to be a simple object to use, this was not always the case. Take, for instance, this video captured during the day of the invention of the book. Please note that this totally authentic video was recently discovered in the dark recesses of a library in Venice, California. Thus the Italian language. Or maybe it’s French? Russian? Whatever. (Do I have to spell out EVERYTHING here??) Subtitles have been added for your understanding. Again, this very rare and authentic video is being shown for the very first time! For you “technologically challenged” folks, move the “mouse” that we discovered together earlier and MOVE IT AROUND until the little “pointer thing” on the screen moves ON TOP OF the “arrow” in the middle of the video below. Once there, STOP! Now, push (we call it “click”…bear with me here) the LEFT button on the mouse to start the video. See? Isn’t that easy? If your computer is now shutting down, thank you for visiting Earth to Dave! and we’ll probably never see you again.
Still there? Okay, then. Let’s watch history being made:
So as you have seen, there are always challenges involved in the advancement of technology. If you are patient, you may even get that VCR programmed. Once you do, throw it away. It will then be time to learn your “DVD Player”, which is being replaced by a “DVR Recorder”, which has already been replaced by a “Blu Ray Machine” which is battling the “HD-DVD” machine for supremacy of the HD DVD/DVR market. It’s really very simple. Hello? Is anyone there?
Just take things one step at a time. You will need to take things at your own pace. Heck, I’m pretty sure my Dad still has his Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 computers. Whether they’ve been turned on or not, I am not sure. Regardless, he’s the MASTER at fixing anything that breaks. He can take a roll of tape, a toothbrush and three wires and somehow create something that will receive radio signals from Senegal. Why? Because he can. But the new technology of today doesn’t interest him enough to want to try to keep up with it all. He once purchased a surround sound stereo system and High-Def flat screen television and left them all in boxes until I traveled to California to put it all together. He was in no rush, and knew that his goober son would take care of putting it all together. Did he know how to connect the DVD player to the 7.1 digital amp using the optical cable? Nope. Did he know not to use standard analog connectors to connect the Hi-Def television to the DVD player? Nope. Didn’t care, either. See, his son had his head stuffed in the back recesses of the entertainment center, where he inhaled three pounds of dust bunnies while connecting the components together and bumping his head repeatedly on the shelving. What was Dad doing? Occasionally I’d look back and see him on the rocking chair with a glass of iced tea in his hand. He had a smug look on his face as he would occasionally say “Hey, you finished yet? Survivor is on in 3 minutes.”
Yes, there’s something to be said for being choosy about your technological know-how. I was like Adam, beating the tree into submission. Dad was there, bandages ready, enjoying the show. Dang, he’s good.
So if you feel lost and alone and completely clueless about keeping up with technology, don’t worry. Find some sucker, er…uh, friend or relative…to help you along. Mix up some tea, kick your feet up, and let them think they’re taking pity on a poor, uninformed and incapable friend. Not only will they leave thinking they’ve done their good deed for the day, but you’ll save a bundle not paying to have done what you probably COULD HAVE accomplished…if you wanted to.
As for those of you who think you have all the technology figured out, be aware of the fact that you will one day be asked to help out someone who just can’t seem to understand the directions to some new “gadget”. Go ahead, do your thing. Just bring the band-aids and plenty of patience. You’re just doing what has been done over the course of time.
Remember, poor Adam could have used some help when introduced to the “ax”! Eve would have been happier, and who knows? Maybe she wouldn’t have gone for that walk in the Garden. Things would have been a lot better as a result. In essence, the FATE OF THE WORLD could be in your hands. So grab the wires and go to work. We’re all counting on you!