Techno-coloured Funk

Technology challengedSome people respond to technology very well.

Some people stink at it.

I’m going to have a nice, brief, honest rant here…

Those of you who don’t use email, text or turn on your phones DRIVE ME NUTS! We have business to do here…

Don’t. Be. Difficult.

I realize being technolocially challenged can be a generational thing, but hey, my parents use bill pay. Thankfully, I’ve NEVER witnessed my mother whip out her “checkbook” at the end of the sale to slowly draft a “cheque,” only to have the clerk process and return it to her…perfect signature in place. Thank you Mom, for not embarrassing the family.

I try to be patient with y’all. I try to put myself in your shoes, because I’m not a technical genius. technology challengedI’m not a millennial technogeek; I have to ask questions at the Genius Bar, too.

This reluctance to plug in to the 21st century could be generational, so I did a little research. In my fervor, I unearthed a very insulting article in Cosmo  where they refer to those challenged with technology as “olds.” Now, I’m not sure if I’m an “old” but, stuff it you insolent, little, whipper-snappers! Your parents were obviously out to a 5-martini lunch when it came time to teach tolerance and respect! So, for you “olds” out there…. I’ve got your backs.

Delving further into my research, I discovered extremely ageist beliefs, a (false) air of superiority amongst the “youngs” and a very real danger of being isolated when one fails to stay abreast of technology. Let me let you in on a secret: technology challengedKnowing how to do things on the computer, your phone, your television – it does not come naturally. You have to figure it out. We all do. My best free piece of advice: You can google how to do anything. (click to Tweet) Be comforted knowing, most everyone experiences that learning curve, and it keeps your brain pliable.

For example, when I first started publishing this weekly blog, it took me 6-7 hours a week to write it, format it, get my links in place, make sure my SEO was optimal, have it proofed, publish and market it. Now, I can do it in approximately 2-3 hours – give or take. Now, I have a squishy brain.

No pain…no gain.

The same is true in pulling a website together. It isn’t a walk in the park. At least not the first time. Now, I’m not advocating you do all your web development yourself, it wouldn’t be practical for your business if you did. But, you could. YOU COULD!

A fear of technology will isolate you. It will age you more than a 2 pack a day and bottle of bourbon under the mattress habit. (click to Tweet) Suck it up, Buttercup, and learn something new.

Another thing to be aware of…you probably won’t master every technical device on the planet. Don’t expect to and you won’t run into disappointment. So, for as frustrated as I am with those who thwart technology, and as appreciative I am of those who actually use it for day to day living, I do take solace in knowing it changes very, very fast.

Why solace? Because, I will not hide my smirk when those calling others “olds” are properly confuzzled by technology in the future. I’ll show no mercy when they step away to raise children of their own and technology changes without their consent. One day, they’ll go, “WTF?” and I’ll giggle under my breath, because I’ve got something they don’t have. Experience. And, even from way over here…I can see what’s coming.

Leave a comment, if you dare. You can fill out those little boxes under this article on your computer. 🙂

I’m logging off the line,

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Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in Writer, Artist, Coachtheir lives.

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10 Replies to “Techno-coloured Funk”

  1. Michelle, I am going to rant back. I am computer savvy. I used to program for an IBM enhancement specialist, long ago, and I have been tapping on a computer since the early days of TRS 80. But I am the one to turn it all off. Often. My phone, my computer, my TV, etc.

    I reserve the right to some quiet, and some unplugged-ness!
    I ask people to write me an email, and tell them it is much the best way to reach me. That way I can collect it when I am ready..like the way we used to check our mailbox outside the door.

    My job is thinking, and making art. When I am not putting paint on something, I am thinking about where I will soon put the paint. When I turn on the phone, or the computer, it is to collect communications from any and all. Then I answer it.But on my schedule.

    I am concerned about the dependence we have on the gadgets. It’s the weakest link in our chain of communication, you know! All the tech we enjoy has robbed us of the manual ways of doing things. Have you ever waited with melting groceries for the grocery store to get back up and running? Without their computer, one can not check out their groceries and go home.

    I can’t even get an extra key for my car unless I pay to have the whole system reprogrammed and new keys all around…a couple hundred dollars for an emergency key, for heaven’s sake!

    My cell phone is a dud. I can use it, but the battery fails very quickly. I keep it plugged in, and dutifully forget to take it when I go out. Yes, I could get stuck and need to call for help. I will have to flag down a real person, I guess, if I have forgotten my phone, like you used to do when you have car trouble. Maybe they will be able to help, or even call.

    What did we do when we couldn’t check our phones every minute? What did others used to do when they called someone and there was no one home? Well, they waited until later.

    I’m sorry you are upset with me. I really think we are vulnerable, though, and will not know how to handle it when (not if) the grid goes down. I plan to stay in practice with, you know, the knock on the neighbor’s door, or the letter in the mailbox. (if the post office can still operate without being online. love, Susan

    1. Hi Susan (I think that’s who you are)! Thank you for your rant – yep – I said that. I can respect the value of doing things the old way. I can even see the necessity of having a way to carry on when technology is unavailable. I think it’s awesome the way we used to count change back (have you noticed no one does that anymore? They can’t calculate without their registers). I’ve often joked if my electric toothbrush was dead, how would I brush my teeth? So, I get your point.

      I’m not upset with you and your reluctance to use technology. I can see the value in unplugging and I do it from time to time myself. What upsets me is when I’m trying to conduct business…I’m trying to organize, or plan, or conclude…and I do not get an answer because the other party will not use technology. I’m doing my best to adapt to the current way of life. I want to remain in loop, and am going 75 mph…then, the non-tech user makes me slow down to 25 mph. Frustrating for sure and incredibly cumbersome. But, worse than that, are the remarks, the stigma and the way many of the youths today are making non-users irrelevant. I can see both sides. I like the healthy way you approach dealing with your emails. You really aren’t one of the people I’m frustrated with …. you were, after all, dealing with your email. Thanks, too, for leaving a comment! 🙂

  2. Old is a state of mind.
    Technology is a tool that has gone Social.
    We all have choices from becoming immersed in the tools to being Social in real life or in virtual life.

    And yes Susan you can jump off the grid if you want to take
    a breath of fresh air. In fact, I do it everyday.

    Thanks for the thoughts and rants Michelle…but you don’t have to apologize…it really isn’t a rant…it is a good observation and healthy perspective/introspection.

    1. Thanks, Andy. Yes, I think it’s necessary to unplug occasionally…and perhaps even more often than that. There’s a good balance to be had with technology. One needs to use it to remain relevant in work and communication, but not overuse it to the point of not getting work done or communicating in a personal, face to face way. It’s also important not to let it become a point of contention between generations or users and non-users. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. MIchelle, the sad thing about your article is that it won’t reach the people that need to read it. The ones that don’t use the computer, telephone and email.:)

    1. Hahaha – yes, Piotr. I have always seen the irony in that. As a matter of fact, sometimes I get replies from readers who respond via email, because they aren’t sure how to post on the blog. At least they’re reading and hopefully it is helping. Other people may be too far afield to be reached. 🙁

  4. I have to take the rant personally, because I need it personally. I am 89% scared to death of being left behind by the march of newer and newer technology, and struggling ( and I mean struggling ) to keep up with the bare essentials for day to day life and work. It is tiring, and I wish for a break – a life lived naturally. At some point, try as I will, the day will come when technology wins, and I am completely on the outside, back to where I was before the invention of the pc, cell phone, automated business and all that.

    1. I disagree with you, Sarah Jane. I don’t think you’ll lose the battle at all! Look at you – leaving a comment on a blog. You don’t know how many times I get personal emails or people will say they don’t even know what a blog is (and at least they’re using e-mail!). You show up regularly on social media and obviously know the communication basics. You don’t have to be a whiz-kid, my friend, truly, you don’t. Enough to keep you connected with the world is just fine, unless you have designs to be a programmer or something. I’m glad you’re only worried 89% to death. I would encourage you to relax and let the number dwindle. You only need to be motivated to learn something new when the changes occur. Relax and enjoy technology…and don’t forget to smell the real roses, too! ~m

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