Electronically Challenged

Personal technology arrived late in my life. I do not embrace it, although we do own and use three computers. The oldest, an antiquated HP (circa 2006) now disconnected from the internet, I use as a word processor and game machine (Spider Solitaire & Scrabble). The  man of the house uses a less decrepit Dell laptop (2009) for e-mail, the internet, and his games of Spider Solitaire.

The newest and fastest device, a sleek but scratched MacBook Pro purchased second-hand, refuses to yield its magic to our weak attempts to command it. Thus its use is restricted to rapidly reaching Google. We are too apathetic to do the work required  to awaken this sleeping giant.

It was my husband who introduced these devices into our lives, and I am grateful–up to a point.

Smart phones seem enticing, until I see those tethered to these devices unable to navigate a street without consulting them. I avert my eyes from this sight, relieved to be free of requiring electronic help every waking moment, happy that our primitive, unintelligent cell phone rarely strays from its resting place on the desk at home.

Electronic reading devices especially repel me. I am unable to make the leap from user-friendly print book to slick e-reader that, for me, mutates reading into a pale and sickly sidekick of technology. Hearing a friend say she’s read “45%” of a book is off-putting. I relish turning the pages of a “real” book, moving my eyes across its lines of print, then visiting our public library for more. Reading is a primal activity for me, providing, among other things, a vital feeling of connection to other human readers from Chaucer to current 1st graders.(I believe 1st graders still use books in school–or are they all given electronic readers now?) Perhaps today’s moderns prefer the idea of connection to devices and other device readers as well as to words on the screen.

Of course I realize the irony of writing and presenting these thoughts to you via computer and the internet. Yes, I do value technology for advancing the ease of writing and getting stories and ideas to readers. It’s just that I don’t feel the need to go beyond this minimum level, pulled deeper into what I see as an endless morass of  electronics.

Pity me, deplore my ignorance, or ignore me–here I stand, hands relatively free from electronic devices.







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