I am obviously old. I struggle with technology on a regular basis. Sometimes it is my friend, and sometimes it is the bane of my existence. Unlike some folks who are only a few years older than I, I do actually do my banking online. I do have a social media account or two. I do participate in online discussions. I may not know what band is most popular with the young folks right now, but if I ever do want to know that I just ask my daughters. And I generally like music (there are some genres that grate me, but that is personal taste) so when my daughters gift me a CD (my car stereo does not have an AUX input) of current music for my car, I turn up the volume and let it blast. I am sure, when it comes to my German Heavy Metal music, that my neighbours must think the worst of me. I find that amusing.
I do get frustrated, however, with things like websites that are not user friendly. I don’t like to have to click on more than 2 things to get me where I need to be. This morning was no exception. I was trying to renew my dog license online. I should perhaps not attempt such things before my first cup of coffee. But as my family was milling about the kitchen getting ready for the day and having normal conversation about just about anything on the planet and beyond (because that is the kind of family we are), I sat there with my first cup of coffee un-sipped and tried to use my ipad to get onto the City website and renew my dog license. That is when the muttering began.
Fortunately, my partner was able to assist me with a couple of steps, but I feel that I should not have to have anyone’s assistance when it comes to a civic website. But this is not specifically a blog to bash the City’s website either. You see, I struggle with technology at the best of times. It is almost laughable to watch me try to program the PVR to record an episode of something or a series. It took me at least 3 months to get the hang of it. Yet still now there are steps in that which I stumble with now and then and have to breathe (with a very long “E”) and focus my mind to get it to do what I need it to do. Mind you our carrier changed when we moved here 2 years ago, so it is still a bit of a learning curve for me.
Then there is the coffee pot. It is programmable. You can set it the day before to come on at a certain time the next morning. When we first got this I was so excited. My partner figured out how to use it within 30 seconds. It took me 3 weeks. It also, when we first moved in, took me 3 days to realise that the microwave was not working, not because I was doing anything wrong with it, but because the numbers 5,8 and 0 actually don’t work when you press them. Two years later, because we don’t actually use the microwave much at all, we still have not replaced it. I am thinking that where it is would be an excellent area to put the toaster/oven on a shelf. Mind you, we would not have a stove hood/fan system then, but that doesn’t function on the microwave that is there anyway, so what do I care?
Sometimes I find it is like when I was a kid learning to tie my shoes. I am not deficient in the intelligence department. But I do find that there are some tasks that I had to learn that were confusing. Perhaps it was because I was left handed and being taught by right handed people. I don’t know. But I distinctly remember struggling to tie my shoes and my mother trying to help teach me. I looked at my feet and noticed her feet were wearing slip-ons. I said, “I want shoes like yours.” She replied, “Don’t be silly. These are ladies shoes.” I wasn’t even talking about ladies vs. men’s shoes. I was talking about tie up vs. slip on. To this day I prefer my slip on shoes over tie ups any day of the week. Or, now that it has been invented, something like sandals with Velcro straps. That I can rock.
So now that you know more about me than you ever likely wanted to know, imagine how surprised I am by the fact that, using technology, I have begun some educational videos on YouTube! I was doing that a few years ago and did not continue because the technology was frustrating me and the video quality was not great. Then a couple of years ago I had a friend record some for me and they were good. Now, however, I have a person who is working with me who is amazingly talented in videography and is also an excellent director. So although I have a message that gets communicated, the quality of the video has increased tremendously. It makes my heart sing when I don’t have to think about how to make something work. I show up, do my thing, and someone else takes care of the technological aspects and VOILA! I have a video!
I seriously wish that all technology was as easy as that. But it is not. sigh