I know I should be grateful.
Yesterday, my wife Ute organised the purchase of my first laptop and my first tablet.
I now will have the capacity of leaving home and be interconnected with the world even more than I was in the past with my non-apps, not very smart mobile phones.
Then why don`t I feel this is a cause for celebration?
I think it’s because I so often feel like a sort of modern day Rip Van Winkle slowly waking up to a world I scarcely understand, or like Marvel Comics’ Howard the Duck “trapped in a world he never made”.
I now face the challenge / nightmare? of trying to understand how to make these furschlugginer techno toys work in a way I feel comfortable.
Right there…that word…comfortable…that is my problem.
I look around me and so many people, even of my own generation, seem strangely comfortable and adept with the latest techno, while I still feel impressed and intimidated by the discovery of fire.
How are they able to feel so at ease, so complacent, with techno that is so complex, so…de-humanizing?
Friends and family laugh at me in puzzled amusement.
You can get access to instant information, they tell me.
You can communicate anywhere anytime to anyone, they assure me.
Readers of these words may seem puzzled.
You’re writing a blog, aren’t you?
Therefore, aren’t you then, by extension, techno-savvy?
My PC at home was bought for me by my wife.
I have barely scratched the surface of what the damn thing is capable of and use it primarily to check my email, view train schedules, write this blog and play Civilization 3 (ancient software according to modern gameplayers).
My blog was a surprise 50th birthday gift from a beloved co-worker.
My email accounts were set up for me by my best friend Iain and my wife.
I still feel intimidated by the damn thing everytime something happens on it I don’t understand.
Why does it decide to update itself whether I want it to or not?
Why should I be happy if I receive a lot of hits?
(I tend to avoid violent words like “hits”, “bytes” or “hard drive”.)
Why am I involuntarily bombarded by inedible “Spam”, forced to watch banners fly / pop up, and how does one cope with a computer virus?
Offer it a tissue?
Pour chicken soup into its CPU?
(CPU: sounds like a stink so powerful you can see it…)
I have often commented and openly mocked today’s “Generation Why?” with their heads lowered onto their screens, earphones in or over their ears, oblivious to a world around them, focused on a virtual reality of their own construction.
I love to suddenly stop in front of a younger person walking with their eyes focused on their smart phones just to see if they’ll bump into me.
(Somehow they never do.)
It is a frustrating feeling to be split between the desire never to become one of these techno slaves to the machines yet all the same realizing that my very survival is dependent upon these same damn devil technologies.
I feel I am running against the wind, swimming against the current.
Will someone please help me demystify my fuzzification?
Where’s the furschlugginer “Off” button anyway?