Tuesday 25 Oct 2016

Oh, Technology
AJ Robinson

These days, dealing with new technology can be tough for older people, myself included. I still can’t quite get the hang of Twitter! Recently though, my in-laws had to deal with Wi-Fi, and it was quite the event.

I can't get the hang of Twitter.

My wife and daughter were visiting family, in Port Charlotte, a while back. They wanted to get on the household internet connection via the Wi-Fi. They asked what the password was. Ah, now there was the problem, neither of my in-laws had any idea what it was; they couldn’t remember! My wife asked if maybe they had it written down somewhere.

Ah, now that was something that sounded remotely possible. Ralph sat and thought about it for a while. Jo Ann lost count of the number of “Ums” he said, and she was beginning to lose hope of ever knowing. Finally, he blurted out, “The flower book!” He said it twice more. Jo Ann turned to her mother and asked if that was the password or if the password written in some sort of flower book. Penny sat there for a few minutes, lost in deep thought, and finally replied. She said that the password was in a book on flowers. She said it very matter-of-factly, and that was all.

Who hid the password, where.

It appeared that Jo Ann was going to have to prod her further in order to get any action from her mother. She asked where the book might be located. This again resulted in some deep thought by her mother. She thought long and hard about it, and finally arrived at a conclusion.

“Well, if the book is where it’s supposed to be, it should be in that desk drawer right behind you,” she said casually.

Jo Ann opened the drawer to look, and sure enough, there was a book on flowers in there. Pulling it out, she opened the book and looked inside the cover. Once again, sure enough, the password for their home internet was in there. My wife said that she almost laughed aloud when she saw the word written there. It was one of those completely and obvious passwords. Not quite in the realm of 1234 or their birthday dates or anniversary, but it was damn close.

It put in me in mind of the trouble my mother had with her first computer. She thought the mouse was like the pedal for her sewing machine. She put it on the floor! As for the disk drive, she thought that was a cup holder like in her car.

Our daughter hid her sandwich in the VCR slot.

Of course, the old aren’t the only ones to have trouble with technology. I also recall an incident with my daughter when she was young, just a toddler. She had half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich left after lunch one day, and we had a new VCR. She discovered that the little flap flipped up and, thus, she could store her sandwich in there until she wanted to finish it. We found the sandwich when we tried to pop in a movie to watch. Oh, the trouble we had cleaning out the VCR.

Ah well, I guess we all have trouble dealing with new things in our lives. I just hope I don’t end up relying on my grandchildren someday to help me get online just to check my email. Of course, given the rate at which technology changes, by the time I have grandchildren email may have gone the way of the fax machine.

It’s a brave new world, people!

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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