Well, I can’t be a granny because I’m childless, but you get the idea. At my age, I should not be a computer nut. I should be mailing handwritten invitations instead of going on Facebook and posting, “I’m having a book signing next Wednesday. Please decide among you who is coming.” I should be calling my friends and my boss instead of emailing and texting them. Speaking of texting, a woman my age should be using a cheap ten year old cell phone instead of going gaga over my new iPhone 6, which is what I did.
I also went gaga over my all-in-one flat screen PC. No more CPU or speakers! Leg room under the desk! The latest version of windows! HOT DAMN! Of course, I still have the parts of my old computer under the desk, in the way, because I have not yet gotten around to going over to Staples and having their nice techies clean everything out of the old machine so that I can donate it to some place that is hard up for used computers that still work. It kills me to say this, but I am not tech savvy enough to do that myself.
There are two problems with being an aging technology junkie:
1. Younger people and prospective employers automatically assume that I am ignorant of anything invented after the electric typewriter. They also assume that my brain has calcified and, therefore, I can’t learn anything new. They maintain these rock-solid notions despite the mountain of evidence I present to the contrary.
2. People over 50 years of age think I’m obnoxious because I’m always pushing technology at them. These are the people who are most likely to kill me when I tell them to email me instead of phoning. “That’s just one more way of keeping people from each other,” is the complaint I often hear from the Geritol crowd. This is funny, because since I started emailing, messaging and posting on Facebook I’m communicating all over the place all the time. On the other hand, if you dare call me and hang me on the phone when I’m trying to write or, even worse, when there’s something good on TV, I will hurt you.*
Here are some typical snippets of conversation between me and my older acquaintances:
OLD PERSON: My mother had a wonderful old 1920s style cloche hat. I’d love to get one like it, but they just don’t sell those anywhere.
ME: Try googling it.
OLD PERSON: Huh?
ME: You have a computer, right? With Internet access?
OLD PERSON: Yes, but I don’t use it much. My grandchildren use it when they come over.
ME: Well, you go onto the Google website, type in “1920s cloche hats” and you’ll get a bunch of websites, some of which probably sell them. You might even be able to get a flapper outfit to go with it.
OLD PERSON: Will you do that for me and tell me what you find, so I can call them?
ME: It’ll be a lot easier if you do it.
OLD PERSON (by now very irritated): Hmmph! You’d think I asked you to donate a kidney or something!
OLD PERSON (holding a cell phone in one hand): I’m trying to call my nephew and all I’m getting is his voicemail. I have to talk to him.
ME: Have you tried sending him a text message?
OLD PERSON: Can I do that on this phone?
ME: How long have you had that thing?
OLD PERSON: Years. It was cheap, so I bought it.
ME: You can’t send texts with that old dinosaur.
OLD PERSON: Why do I want to send texts, for cryin’ out loud? Talking isn’t good enough for my bastard nephew? … Hey! You have one of those newfangled gizmos. Can you send the message for me?
ME: It costs me minutes when I do that! (Seeing the look on Old Person’s face) Alright. What’s his phone number? (I get my phone out and prepare to send the message.)
OLD PERSON: I found this old picture of my granddaughter when she was little. I want to send her a copy. I’ll take it over to Walgreens and get them to make me one.
ME: Why don’t you just scan it into your computer and email it?
OLD PERSON: How do I do that?
ME: My printer is also a scanner. What about your printer?
OLD PERSON: I don’t know. I never thought about it.
ME: Do you have the manual that came with the printer?
OLD PERSON: I can never understand those things. I had my grandson show me how to use it. I threw the manual away.
ME: I guess you should just take the picture to Walgreens, then.
OLD PERSON: That’s what I said in the first place! Sheeesh!
You see what I’m up against?
*Have you noticed how some people are incapable of getting off the phone fast? You tell the person you can’t talk now, and the caller says, “Okay, I won’t keep you.” Ten minutes later, you’re still trying to get Motormouth to hang up.