What Bugs Me: New Electronic Devices

Isn’t it fun upgrading to a new phone, Kindle or computer with all the latest features? The young saleslady makes the technology seem easy as she scrolls through and delights you with possibilities. Then you purchase it and find out it’s not quite as simple to use as you thought. That maddens me.

My granddaughter, Tabbi, who works at Verizon.

My granddaughter, Tabbi, who works at Verizon.

I've been so frustrated with my smart phone and laptop computer at times I've felt like pitching them across the room straight into a wall. I've longed for the good old days of landlines and a paper tablet and pen. But, to keep up with technology and reach an audience I've been forced to struggle through and learn how to use electronic devices.

Most everything I've learned about my electronic devices has been accidental. For instance, speaking my text messages. For the longest time I went about typing them with the most aggravating thing happening. I'd hear a little ding, the keyboard would disappear and a gray box would appear. It had a squiggly line running through it like a sick heart rhythm on a monitor with the word Done below it. Excuse me, I'd think. Why have you interrupted my text? I'd wait for the interruption to finish and continue typing. After many times of that happening, one day I said aloud, "Oh great, here we go again." After the wavy line disappeared I saw my message, "Oh great, here we go again." I studied the screen and saw a picture of a microphone. Now I'd learned I could speak my texts. Then there was the morning it occurred to me that if I could speak my texts I could probably speak emails.

My cell phone

My cell phone

As time went on I learned about copying and pasting from my mother's caregiver who sent identical messages to me and my siblings about our mother that said forwarded. Before that discovery, my duplicate messages were typed out laboriously one at a time.

My grand-kids taught me about Facebook, how to Like and Comment and I'm proud to say I can post pictures from my cell phone, and at last from my camera, another accidental find. 

Wisely I hired Jennifer, a professional, to build my website/blog. She's young and amazes me with her skills. There's still a lot of mystery though, but I'm working on it.

I think one reason we oldies don’t learn it as quickly as the young folks is because we’re working in a vacuum. We’re not hanging out together showing each other the newest features. We’re not sitting in a classroom watching the kid next to us do something amazing. We’re alone, trying to figure it out.

On my phone I know how to set an alarm, check the weather, read the Bible and use Note to jot down ideas. I’m still clueless on most of the Apple iOS 10 stuff.

I think the next time I meet friends for lunch, we’ll pull out our phones and have show and tell.

Think of the possibilities: a persnickety woman calling out directions to anywhere I want to drive, all my stuff stored in a cloud somewhere high above, and no less than four specialized groups on Facebook.

Maybe someday one of my grand-kids will come to me and say, “Do you know how to ...?” I’ll pull out my phone and teach them a thing or two.