Opinion

Lost in a tech world | Ann Oxrieder

I never feel old. Never, that is, unless faced with troubleshooting a tech problem, learning how to use a new tech tool, or testing out a new app.  In those situations I become ancient. Technology is the reason I have furrows in my forehead.

Here are a few examples of my tech trials.

Two months ago my home wifi connection disappeared.  One techie, who should have known what was going on, told me the problem lay with the Comcast modem. My husband, who shouldn’t have known, because his expertise lies in troubleshooting problems with 17th century musical instruments, insisted it was the router.  I turned to Comcast for help and spent more than an hour explaining the problem and answering questions via chat support only to be disconnected when the server failed.

When the server recovered I saw that my tech support person had signed off, even though I had remained faithful during the outage.  I felt as rejected as a teenager whose prom date finds a better catch a week before the big dance.

At that moment I considered using wifi at the library or Starbucks and forgetting it at home altogether.  Miraculously, the problem was solved when the techie who should have known better decided my husband, who had gone ahead and installed a new router, was right and we just needed to push the reset button. Duh.

A few weeks ago a younger friend taught me how to use Instagram.  I asked her how she figured it out. She said she spent a couple of hours reading about it on her desktop computer before trying it on her phone.  Those are hours I wouldn’t have wanted to spend, though I’m glad she did.  I was able to post an Instagrammed photo to Facebook. My excitement lasted only as long as it took me to realize that on Instagram you’re supposed to follow other photographers, so you can receive dozens of photos hourly on your phone.  All I wanted was to make my pictures

look old-fashioned and put a frame around them.

Recently, I traded in my old smart phone. Within minutes I’d inadvertently made it clear to the Verizon salespeople that I was clueless about most of the features of the old phone. So why did I need a new one?

Recently I whined about my technology failures to a friend and asked him whether my problems could be solved by turning a teenager loose in the house.  Having had two at home years earlier, he suggested I might be better off facing my technology challenges on my own.

 

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