Learn Something New Every Day!

A Toyota commercial caught my eye the other day.  The narrator is a young girl (about 18-20 maybe) and she is commenting on how she is worried about her parents—they have no life, no friends.  She urged them to join Facebook and (OMG!) they only have 19 friends.  The narrator herself has at least 872—and we then see her spending her time sitting alone sitting by her computer “chatting” with online friends about puppies and other things on the Internet.  In the background, the non-social parents are out and about in their new car, going with friends to concerts and golf courses and such.  I always chuckle at this commercial, at the daughter—and know in my heart that her parents are the ones really living life to the fullest.  Then I cringe.  After all, I do not really appreciate being so obviously a part of the 40-60 year old audience Toyota is targeting, but I obviously am.

I remind myself that I am not a luddite.  I’m not, I’m not, I’m not! I may not have all the newest gadgets, but I am not averse to technology.  I am not the really dumb unknowing Dad in a wifi cable commercial who has to be tricked into trying the wifi connection by his young daughter telling him he already has the invisible cord that will connect his computer to the Internet.  I use the Internet for various research and searches, even if I do not just wander down the Internet highway or spend hours exploring YouTube.  I am on my email everyday, but I do not use Instant Messaging. 

I even have a Facebook page!  OK, I subscribed because a friend invited me and then completed my profile when I saw there was an option to advertise my blog entries via Facebook.  I have a few friends and could probably get more if I would “invite” them, but I figure the people I really want to connect with I send emails to or call!  Some of my Facebook friends post things all the time—and I see and even sometimes respond to those updates when I go online to Facebook a couple times a week.  I have a Lindekin page too, but no profile yet.  I have not started Twitter.  To tell the truth, it just seems silly! A fellow blogger recently discussed the virtues of these technological connections, but I was not convinced enough to get started in new areas—at least not yet.

As part of my evidence that I am not afraid of technology, I want to announce that I bought a new cell phone the other day.  Of course, my old one was over 2 years old and had stopped working effectively right on schedule, a few months after the 2-year warranty ran out.  Its problem was that I could no longer use the numbers 1, 4 and 7 on the keypad.  Go ahead, I dare you to make calls, check voice mail, or even change your PIN without using those numbers. I double-dog dare you!

I went online to see what my replacement options were and found the best phone for me. That meant the new cell phone would let me have a phone and check my email online—and with my upgrade discounts and such—I selected the cheapest phone I could find that did not require me to change my monthly data usage plan.  I only spent $50 and for a little more money I could even get a Bluetooth earphone, so I could talk on the phone while driving.  Not that, that is an activity I am dying to do! 

It did not even take me very long to get my new phone set up.  I can once again call at will, retrieve voice mail messages and check my email via my phone.  I still do not plan on using text messages.  It is convenient to have the calculator and calendar online, and I even use them occasionally.  The camera may get used, but I try to carry my “real” camera when I know I am going out to take photos.  I do not plan to connect to Facebook via my phone, although I could.  If I rarely go there when I am home, why would I want that option when I am out and about?  Downloading games and music are not things I am really interested in, but maybe the siren call of Angry Birds will convert me—for only $2.99 and placing my credit card info online.  “Maps” seems like an interesting feature, but do I really need walking directions from wherever I am to where I want to go?  Thus far I have not activated the “find your phone all the time” GPS feature.  Maybe if I went more new places this feature would be more enticing.

I am not sure why I shared all this. 

I think I wanted to convince myself that I am not a luddite—that I am not averse to technology.  I use it. I love it in lots of ways.  But I do not fully embrace it either, and I know that makes me an alien in terms of the younger generation’s approach to technology.  I can live without being hip and cool, and I will adjust to being the “older” audience some commercials target with their marketing ploys. But at times I do feel like I am battling against the technology, and—although I hold my own pretty well—in the long run, I think I will lose to the newest, the best, the next version—and all the gadgets and conveniences they offer.  After all, my new phone boasts 3G technology and there are ads all over saying the 4G stuff is here already.  At times like that, I sigh and repeat a quote from Mark Twain, “All the modern inconveniences!”  But to get it right, you have to say it with a sigh!

So where are you in this battle?  Are you fighting the technology too, or embracing it fully?  Maybe it is not a battle at all. Maybe it is just progress, just the future getting started right now, today! 

I better be careful, or I will be left behind.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”  Albert Einstein

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  John F. Kennedy

Comments on: "Me vs. Technology. . . Is It Really a Battle?" (23)

  1. I agree…so much technology out there and which one to choose? And, that’s exactly how it should be. I do find it interesting that although I am quite proficient in my field, technology can demand that I become almost equally proficient in that. My degree is not in computer programming, html, etc. and maintain that experts in their field should remain that and I will demand that any technology I use be user friendly so I do not waste time or overly invest myself in all the ins and outs.
    I do acknowledge that I must remain current so I can relate to people and respect the technologies they choose. Therefore, I have included MaggieCakes in my subscriptions so she can give me her well thought out take on a wide array of tech choices and options.
    All in all, it’s about choice.

  2. I so know how you feel. I work for a technology/ communications company and there are changes and upgrades weekly..but I go home a use my “dated computer, cell phone, etc”. My work friends laugh because we are required to know this stuff…and I do. I just can’t be bothered to do the upgrade myself. One exception, I did get an HD TV..love it even though I don’t watch a lot of TV..now 3D TV???not so sure about that.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I see what you mean about choosing to use the newest technology or not. A friend keeps suggesting I use skype for phone calls–it sounds cool, but it does not intrigue me enough to explore it, get a camera for my laptop, etc. If I do not do the view option (which I understand is possible), why bother? Plus I have unlimited calling already so the cost savings is not there for me.

  3. I wouldn’t say I fully embrace it, but I’m probably closer to that end of the spectrum than the other! Ba.D. has so many gadgets and is constantly on the search for new apps to do nifty things of all manner I’d never thought needed done before. I’m probably going to always be a bare-minimum user, but I’m very quick to learn and adapt to the “bare-minimum” stuff. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing. I like your idea of using the bare-minimum. I think that is where I am, but there is probably a wide spectrum on what is the minimal technology these days.

  4. writedale said:

    Yes, technology is amazing and the pace of changes in technology never cease to amaze me. The topic comes up often between friends or among others in my community. There’s pros and cons of course.

    Latest I heard about television tech is that they’re working on a television that is as thin as a credit card and you can paint it on the wall and roll it up when you move it. Yes, just when you think televisions can’t get any better (and more $$$). If technology didn’t come with such a huge incline in price, I think it would be more welcomed.

    Technolgy is race among investors and inventors. I think too that one needs to consider if an upgrade in technology devices and servies is really something you can’t live without. But those in marketing and business sure know how to get our attention and make us believe we need the next step up in technology.

    Another thing worth mentioning I think is the time consumed in gadget and “techy” world. We seem to spend a lot of time with learning new technology, social media groups, and staying in tune with the world. So are we really in tune, or do we just appear to be?

    I think this was a really good post, it made me think of the technolgoy surrounding me.

    Oh BTW, I learned a new word today>> “luddite” or is it “luditte.”

    • Thanks for your feedback. Yes, the pace of technology and its cost are part of what makes technology so challenging!

      Also, thanks for noting my terrible typo on a key word in my entry! As a former English teacher, I am disappointed I did not catch the typo myself! But I have corrected it now–it is indeed “luddite”!

  5. I still have a stupid phone, not a smart one, but I do engage in texting quite a bit (okay, it’s relatively quite a bit for me; it would be considered very little by my daughter and granddaughter). I do not have a blue tooth for my phone and don’t even know if it would support one, but I think I’d like to have it. In fact, I think I’d like to be more tech savvy, but it’s so expensive to keep up. And who’s going to teach me how to use all the new stuff that’s out there? Where are my grandchildren when I need them? Great post, Patti.

    • You are so right about needing the kids to help figure all the technology out–they just seem to get it!

      I do realize that texting is something the teens tend to do–one friend with kids says she gets the printout each month of the texts her kids send and it is a good 3 inches of paper. I thought technology was supposed to save the trees!?

  6. I have a smart phone, which I really enjoy, but I sometimes feel that I let myself get too sucked in by it. Sometimes I can’t seem to put it down!

    But my phone is about the only technologically smart thing about me. I love my computer and the instant access to all kinds of information on the internet, and I love my digital camera…but I don’t know how to use half of the functions of either one. I definitely fall into the category of wanting – okay, needing – user friendly gadgets and directions to go with them.

  7. Yes I agree!! I feel a little hard to follow the develop step of technology!

  8. I think your discipline is admirable. A $50 cellular phone bill? Not for me! If I even think that I’m on the verge of a regular bill, I download a game, a book or a ringtone – just for kicks. Amazingly, my phone has become an expression of my personality.

    • I wish I were that disciplined! My new phone cost $50 once all the upgrade discounts were used, etc. but my monthly data package is more like $90. I do not download ring tones and books or send texts, but I do spend–just not via my phone bill!

  9. I have a problem with the content of much new tech. From a journalistic background, my belief is tell the facts, let the reader conclude and double check facts through at least two sources before broadcasting. Today, reality news and programs are not handled that way. And news – like yahoo homepage news – is so slanted to one political view, that I no longer even read it. News should be unbiased. We are surrounded by opinions, not facts, with a cell phone in one hand and a cuppa in the other.

  10. You blog… you’re not a Luddite!

    • Good point. Most days I know that, but on some I get overwhelmed and want to chuck all the technology out the window. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Some of your points fit to me as well, so I say, WE are simply respectful of our time and simply don’t want to get sucked in by another piece of technology. In other words, you’re fine.

    Just wanted to say thanks for your stops at my blog – especially during my time away from here. I’m currently on a work assignment that is consuming my technology time, … and it looks like it should end by the end of this month! Thanks again!!!

    • I appreciate your assessment that “we” are fine! I like your blog, so stopping by is a treat. I hope things settle into a better routine for you soon.

  12. I have to be on top of technology because I have students that I have to be on top of!! If not, I won’t be able to communicate with them. We have technology pushed at us in school–all disciplines. Geesh!

    • Working with students does require a different level of tech-savvy. They seem to “think” in terms of technology, where for me it is often an after thought. This is just another reason teachers get my praise!

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