Technology is not for the faint of heart

As I age gracefully, I find I no longer judge my age by the calendar but by the length of the list of things that aggravate me. The older I get, the longer it grows.

Topping the list is technology. No particular form of technology, just technology in general. I will admit readily that I long for a return to the quiet peaceful days of the Stone Age.

After giving it a bit more thought, maybe the Stone Age was the start of it all. After all, it was then when the first techie evolved and started the whole thing by picking up a rock and declaring it a multi-function tool. It could be thrown to get food, used to pound sticks into the ground to make shelter, and could even be used to settle family disputes from a safe distance.

That rock evolved into the present day cell phone. The rock I understand, the wireless phone, I don’t. Everywhere I look someone is text messaging, taking a picture with, checking their email on, walky-talking to someone down the street, playing games or even talking to someone on the darn things. Their squealing, squawking, beeping, buzzing cries to be answered are everywhere. Everywhere you go, someone is talking to their hand.

I have one that can do most of those things. It knows how to do them all — I don’t. I want someone to come up with a cellphone that can only be used for incoming or outgoing calls and that’s it, preferably with a dial.

We’ve gotten so clever at inventing technology that I fear we’re raising a generation of idiots. Have you thought about the fact that if toilet technology continues at the rate it’s going, in 20 years or so nobody will know how to flush a toilet by themselves or remember how to turn on a faucet? I do not like the toilets with the little red lights, I feel like they’re staring at me like a western gunslinger and every time I make a move, they flush.

I’d prefer to turn on the faucet in the sink by myself. I feel silly, waving my hand around the faucet, trying to find the electric eye that will make it rain forth water. I’ve even found myself waving my hand around a faucet with a handle on the top of it because I’ve gotten so used to the electronic ones in modern restrooms. People my age spend a lot of time in restrooms, we notice things like this.

Computers bug me, too. I’m writing this on one and will be sending it off to the paper you’re reading this in with its help. It has aided communication and has its benefits. I enjoy reading email from you all and it keeps me in touch with folks all over the place. It never seems to want to do what I want it to do when I want it to do it, though, and I am not fond of it telling me that it doesn’t want to do something.

Each computer I’ve had has its own little quirks and an individual list of dos and don’ts. Computers are invasive and pushy, for the most part. They’re seemingly everywhere nowadays — my car has one, our refrigerator has one, the cellphones have a little one and I’ll bet there’s one behind that red eye above the toilet in the rest room. They’re sneaky and I don’t fully trust them.

It’s not that I’m getting grumpy or grouchy in my old age, but there are times when dealing with some of our modern technological wonders that I’d like to revert to that first form of technology and whack them with a rock. Let’s hear it for the Stone Age!

Thought for the week — Being “over the hill” is much better than being under it.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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