Give me a rotary dial phone, a PAPERback, and cash, anyday; technology still remains a mystery to me.
First there’s my cell phone – a major stress in my life. Yes, I have had it for four years, but compared to most people, I was behind the times in getting one in the first place. The one I have is simple, ‘Lisa-friendly,’ and I dare not get one with a touch screen, fully stocked with ‘apps,’ video, TV, or the ability to be an ‘e-reader.’ Might was well pick out my dress for the coffin, because any of that would do me in. I spend half my time worrying about it: is it charged, have I lost it, have I missed a call…the list goes on. So I stick with my so-called ancient phone, and be happy at least I can use it as a prop to avoid talking to people I know on the street.
I am now, however, lost with out it, connectivity with my kids, forefront. Go figure.
Speaking of e-readers, my relationship with my own is slow in coming, but it’s getting there. I still prefer paper books, the smell of them much more alluring than an e-reader. Someone needs to invent e-smell; if they have ‘new car’ smell you can spray in your car, why not ‘paperback’ smell you can spray on your e-reader?
Then there are debit machines. The lovely little machines at the check-out counter of stores where instead of handing over your treasured germ-infested bills and coins to the cashier, you swipe or stick your card in a machine as indicated. And after a few buttons pressed – VOILA! - it’s like no money left your hands. Well, except it comes out of your bank account anyways, and it’s the same thing, I know, but it’s not….
And every debit machine is different. Some models you swipe your card through the slot. But if you have a high-tech card with a ‘security chip,’ you stick it in the machine and then try to figure out what buttons to push while the people waiting in line behind you telepathically will you hurry up.
The worst thing is almost every store has a different type of machine with a different button configuration – anything from card placement (swipe or insert), to button placement, to obscure directions, to different icon-painted buttons. So as bad as it is that I often pray not to see ‘insufficient funds’ along with a lovely accompanying ‘buzz’ on some machines, it’s also equally embarrassing when you have pressed all the wrong buttons, and the ‘buzz’ has the cashier re-entering the whole thing for me to try the process again. Of course everyone in the line behind me is giving me the evil stare, rolling their eyes, and muttering obscenities. As I ‘ha, ha’ my way through it all, hoping that a few jokes will soothe the uncomfortable moment with the cashier and the patiently waiting customers, I realize that everything would have gone much faster if I just had cash.
And really, I guess what it all boils down to is time. These things that are supposed to save time and make our lives better only causes stress. And for me, it’s the time needed to sit and figure things out, install things, update things, program things, figure out which buttons work for this and that…
God save me if I ever get one of those GPS things for my car or the phone. I might end up in the Himalayas – which actually sounds like a great idea. Think of all the cute goats and monkeys I would meet. I could hide out in the mountains and not have to do laundry or school lunches, but then I wonder if my hairspray would hold up, and what about Starbucks, and what about…
In all my rush, I am waiting for the day when I lick my finger to turn the page on my e-reader, or try to text on my landline (oops, I actually tried that once). And God save me, and everyone else in the check-out line,if one day I misread the directions on the debit machine. It doesn’t say ‘strip down, facing cashier,’ it says ‘stripe down, facing cashier.’