Technology

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I am tired of being told I know little about technology. I remember our first TV! I also was a mother to three sons who wanted all the new technology that came out while they were growing up. I bought what I could afford to get and they repaid me by showing me how to use it. I worked at IBM for over a year. I worked at a school that was a magnet school for science and technology for seven years. That school required all the teachers to take computer classes once a week. I also took a two week technology workshop at UNC in Chapel Hill one summer. I’ve had a lot of exposure to technology. Younger employees where I currently work assume I don’t know how to do spreadsheets and other things required and offer to do mine for me. I smile and say “Thank you” and let them do it. Why not? With age comes wisdom and knowledge, and I know it they do it for me, I don’t have to. Maybe that means I’m perpetrating the idea that I’m not knowledgeable about technology. For me, I’m letting them suffer the natural consequences of assuming I can’t do something that I was doing before they even went to college. This morning I asked my youngest son, who is visiting here, to help me minimize a photo so I could put it on this website. Of course, he being young, took over and did it for me. Ok. Thanks. But a little word of advice for other seniors who might not have had a lot of experience with technology . . . tell them to Get UP, and you sit down in the computer chair. Tell them to tell you what to do and YOU do it. That’s how you learn. If they try to reach over and type in things for you, gently slap their hand and say “NO. You Tell ME how to do it.” They will sigh and act like it’s a burden, but what you’re doing is unburdening them from having to constantly do things FOR YOU. Of course, when you know how to and they still want to take over, let them. Just don’t let them until they’ve shown you how. They’ll forget you know. They’re young. Another way to enjoy technology is to do the wrong thing while using it. When I call a phone number and get one of those annoying robot answering things, I listen long enough to know they’re going to tell me five hundred things I can do and how I can help myself with my problem. No. I’m old. I want to talk to a live person. So I punch all the numbers in random order. Eventually a robot voice will tell me to hold on . . . they are connecting me to customer service. Good. That’s what I was trying to reach. Young whippersnappers. We can still outsmart them, and they don’t even realize we’ve done it!

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