Technology Makes Me Feel Stupid

Toddler with Laptop
Toddlers even have Laptops

I cannot blame the phone and wireless carriers. Scientists and Engineers. Basically, everyone involved with technology breakthroughs.

It’s the programmers I blame. Writing all those applications for your cell phone. Oh, sorry – I meant to say “Apps”.  Forgive my old brain that likes words and not abbreviations. I only appreciate shortened words when I have to text someone.  I use the ‘suggested’ words often because it takes less time. And let’s face it – I don’t have all the time in the world anymore.

“Smartphones” no longer fit in your hand, or your pant’s pocket. They are closer to tablet size now and I have figured out why. They want you to download movies, TV shows and watch them on their “big” screen. The “Don’t Text and Drive” signs will soon say “Don’t Watch Your Soaps and Drive.”  As if.

Remember “flip phones”?  They were fun to pretend they were communicators from Star Trek, you know, Beam me up, Scotty!

I loved wireless technology from the beginning. When my clunky secondhand car would break down (as it often did), I no longer had to hike to the nearest phone booth. Hey, anyone thinking, ‘what’s a phone booth?’  needs to leave now – it’s past your bedtime.

It was so easy back then. Flip open the phone, punch in the phone# and call someone.  Plain and Simple. No texts. No tweets. No internet access. No tiny keyboards that only a grade school kid could read and fit their fingers on, but buttons to actually push! Touchscreens seemed so cool and futuristic when they first came out. The novelty has worn off, at least for me, so please, bring back real buttons.

Kids immediately figure out how to download and play games, of which there are millions. Most don’t even have rules or how-to’s where you can get a clue from.  No manual you can download from the iTunes Store to translate game apps either.  I know because I have made many searches looking for one. All I want to do is figure out how to play Minion Rush with my granddaughter. I hate seeing that disappointed look on her face.  Her “my grandma is not very smart” look.

My vehicle uses my cell better than I do!  It will play music I have loaded on my phone through the speakers. Off the phone, the map app turns into a navigation tool. And guess what else?  I can tell my car to call someone! I can answer the phone (or not) when it rings. I can text someone using my voice.

I will do all those things and many more – once I learn how to work everything in the cockpit, I will have a lot more fun.  No, I do not have an airplane. I have a new car with 4 console displays, toggle switches, buttons – quite a few are even attached to the steering wheel. Others attach to my rear-view mirror, which hangs very low because buttons, etc. are above the windshield, and up to the roof.

On my way to an appointment this morning, a warning and a few beeps occurred. I wasn’t able to see what the warning was for because by the time I found the console it was displaying on – the words went off and the normal display was back.  Another thing to look up in my manual. After I figure out the instructions on setting the Date/Time. All I know is that I have to connect my cell to the Bluetooth and do 10 steps after that.

I have had my car close to three years now, and every time I drive it, I discover more things I do not understand about it. Things I probably should know about, and I worry about not knowing them.  The only thing valuable I have learned from the manual is that the manual is wrong.  About everything I have tried to figure out.  I learned how to set the Date/Time from a YouTube video.  At the dealer, I learned what my tire pressure should really be set at and that the low tire message was not malfunctioning.

I did not realize getting a new car would be so stressful.  Hubby bought an old car and the manual is spot on.  Not only that, but there are no computers in charge of anything running the car.  The car is all mechanical.

So, why didn’t I buy a simple car like his? Because it is a 1930 Ford Model A.  That’s why.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

Locked Up Memory
I think my free spirit is in here ↑

Are you one? I certainly am not. I’m rigid, tense, and a “Type A” personality.  I would fantasize about being a free-spirited &  a “fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal”, to quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

I wanted to be free from agonizing over my bad skin and chubby thighs. I wanted to flirt with boys. I didn’t dare, because only pretty girls could get away with that. Boys always turn into Play Doh over pretty girls.

I was the friend of the pretty girl. Anyone who was/is the friend, knows the heartache and loneliness I’m speaking of. Being the friend SUCKS. Big Time.

Most boys were nice to me because they didn’t want me to bad-mouth them to my pretty friend. I did get asked out a few times in high school. These dates were accepted in order to appease my mother, who was starting to think I was a lesbian. None of these boys were the boy I wanted to ask me out. He and I did have many conversations though – they went like this:

Him: Do you have a pencil I can borrow?

Me: Oh, Sure.

– OR –

Him: Did you figure out the homework?

Me: I think so (I knew damn well I did, but I would not admit it), I’ll show you what I have.

I was tongue-tied around him, yet I would try to start-up a real conversation between us, unfortunately, by asking him stupid questions. At our lockers one day (we were in the same row – sigh…), I asked him “Do you have any Midol I could borrow?”  That is the kind of stupid I’m talking about, dear readers. Embarrassingly stupid.

All those memories came back, just thinking about being a “Free Spirit”.   Further proving I’m not one.


Things I Hope People DON’T Remember About Me

While pondering topic #11 “what do you most want to be remembered by”, things I did not want people to remember came to mind.

Crazy Woman Sign

When I was a preschooler I was terrified of butterflies. They flew at me, circled me. They were glorified, day-time moths. There was something evil about them, but no one would take me seriously. My parents were embarrassed and told me I was being stupid.

In Junior High I was a nerd with horrible acne. In High School I was an older nerd with terrible acne. There were no ProActive products around then. My dermatologist could not even help me.

College flashbacks are starting to hit me now – like the time a bunch of us girls went to a party and everyone was hungry and wanted to stop somewhere. I voted not to stop because I was not feeling well and I wanted to go back to the dorm. I was outvoted. While they were inside ordering burgers and fries, I was outside barfing into the decorative planters in front of  Burger King.

A different party, where I got blasted because I got dumped by my date to said party that morning because his girlfriend was in town. Surprise! I thought I was his girlfriend. I did his laundry the night before for him. (Oh man! Did I get a severe talking to by my dorm-mates regarding this uncalled for domestic behavior) I was so out of it, that my friends, who were not ready to leave the party, entrusted a guy we all knew to take me back to the dorm. The poor guy had to practically carry me. Then, I did not have my key to the after hours door to my dorm – so I could not get in. He had his key to the boys dorm. Risking expulsion, he snuck me through the boys dorm to get me to the main entrance of  girls dorm, where a gal heard him banging on the door and let me in. I wish I could remember my knight in shinning armors name.

Or how about the time my (I thought) new boyfriend took me on a camping trip. I was naive and figured we would camp under the stars, float the river on canoes, snuggle by the campfire.  He had other plans that I messed up. During the entire float trip the next day he treated me like crap. Made me do all the paddling, saying (repeatedly and loudly) that virgins “needed to be good for something”.  Then the jerk steers us off the main river and we broadsided a fallen log and lost the canoe.  No one in our group of friends were around to hear us call for help. The water was rushing so fast it was hard to hang on. We dared not let go and swim under the log either, for there was debris and God knows what under the water.

We must have hung on for dear life over 20 minutes before a river patrol found us and pulled us to safety. Waterlogged and bruised I spent the second worse night of my life sleeping in the jerk’s car. Did I mention he was too cheap to rent a tent? Some camping trip.

My roommate was thrilled when he dumped me. She had always hated him, suspecting he was a jerk. (Yeah – He did the dumping. I don’t know where my brain was. I even wrote love poems to the guy the week before. Gag!) I wonder what he is doing now.

These are just a small sampling of incredibly stupid moments in my life. The scary thing is – there are probably some more to come. I hope I can keep my granddaughters from finding out most of them…