Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Technology Bites... I Mean Bytes

Using new technology must be something like tying your shoes. You might understand the concept and even be able to follow the steps in words or as demonstrated. But there is one fundamental moment---a bridge, as it were---in which understanding spans the gap between concept and reality. Until that bridge is in place, true learning won't occur.

Depending on which shoe tying process you were taught, the magic bridge is most likely the part where either the two loops are miraculously joined or where the one string circles around the first loop and finds the "portal" where the second loop is pulled through. After that point, all the rest (size of the loops, tighness of the knot, single versus double knot, etc.) is basically calibration and perfection.

Well, I got the shoe tying part down a few years back, despite the arrival of loafers and slip-ons. And there have been a few other break-throughs along the way as well, such as rebuilding my 1969 VW Bug's engine, installing a new pool filter with new plumbing and building a basic code-based website. But I must say, my learning about how to use most of the new electronic communication technology, has pretty much stalled, awaiting some form of the afore-mentioned bridge to arrive.

I'm OK on e-mail and can manage the basics on Facebook and a few other networking sites. But truth be known, I missed the firing of the starting gun when the whole digital imagery race began. I don't like digital cameras, can't get digital images off my phone (assuming they are still in there), can't deal with transporting stills or video files and I haven't figured out the magic step to make video book trailers, to mention just a few of my technoflaws. And I'm quite embarrassed to say that an uncooperative scanner has blocked even that rudimentary skill.

Perhaps I'll eventually pick up enough technology survival skills to make do amidst the relentless press of the electronic generation. But I must admit a fear that I may have finally reached my electronic end point. Either I will slowly languish in my TV chair, holding my broken remote while waiting for small tidbits of electronic news and imagery from anyone. Or I will have to spend my children's inheritance paying for a teenager to keep me connected.

Then, again, just the other day and even if only by happenstance, I may have inadvertently extended my digital life by untold nano-seconds, firmly securing my position on the up ramp to the slow lane of the electronic freeway of life. Somehow, I managed to get our SKYPE connection working out of the blue---I mean both the video AND the audio. Of course, I don't know exactly how it happened, although plugging in both the camera and the microphone seems to have helped....

The exhileration boggles the mind! Time to break out the bubbly!


  1. It happens. When I began using the computers, I was also very scared, and did not like to use it. Buy at this moment, I want to learn more about cameras, programs and computers.

  2. I think you're right, Judith. Thanks for stopping by. Maybe there is hope for my technology skills yet.