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— I went into the computer age kicking and screaming. No! I don’t want to learn computers. I did, but only word processing and email. Once in a while I’ll try to find something on the Internet. Usually I give up after seeing the hundreds of options. I’m supposed to pick one? I’ve even taken some classes, though the machine is still mostly a mystery to me.

Years ago, when I first got a computer and figured out how to “type” on it, it quit working. After trying to get the now familiar machine fixed, I found out it was unfixable. I think that is about the time my son, Bill, who was going out of the country, sent me his computer - minus any instruction manual. I had just sort of gotten used to it when it also balked. I’ve since found out by the time computers quit working,they are obsolete anyhow. I’ve now had at least half a dozen computers (and at least that many printers) and none of them are alike. It’s like learning all over again. I’m still scared to death of computers. I have so much stuff stored on my hard drive. What if one click of the button and I lose it all!

Every time Bill comes for a visit I have a list of things for him to fix. He even put on an icon (see, I know some computer language - you did know it has a language all its own?) so I can go directly to the Putman Web site.

Then there are the cell phones. No. No. No. I don’t want one. My daughter, who I used to worry about, was worried about me and insisted on providing me with a cell phone in case I get into any trouble. I seldom use it. The one time my tiny phone had to be exchanged for a newer model, Teresa had to put in all my addresses again. I’ve done it but never remember how I did it. Who understands instruction manuals?

I am one of the few who still use a landline - that’s a regular telephone that has to be plugged into the wall at all times. It doesn’t have a battery, nor does it need one. I have used thesame phone for decades, unlike my cell phone that has to be periodically upgraded. I even have a rotary, or dial, phone. It works. My granddaughter once asked me how it worked. These young folk know all about the new gadgets, but little about those used in the past.

I admit I feel more comfortable with obsolete things I’m used to. I still do things I’ve done since childhood, like working in a garden, taking walks, reading and mowing my yard with a reel mower, just a patch in front of the house. There’s no electronics needed in those tasks.And I sure don’t want to learn anything new. I do watch TV, sometimes, but have none of the fancy equipment, like surround sound. My husband bought himself a digital camera and wants to get me one. I tell him I will let him be the picture-taker. I’ll just look. We have too many photo albums as it is.

My oldest sister still works full time at her age. My other older sister said she’s been painting at the church camp she and her husband manage. My oldest brother just left a pastorate - he’s a preacher - he already has another job as pastor to senior adults and is probably still involved in a youth camp.My other older brother just moved from near Tulsa to Arizona. One of the first things he did was get his CDL license so he can drive a school bus part time. They make me tired. We all e-mail each other but most of them haven’t learned much about these “new” gadgets either.

Our next generation boast college graduates, a social worker, career women and men, an engineer, business manager, lawyers, etc. Some work at computer jobs and you can be sure they are all electronic savvy.

I’ve heard you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, this woman doesn’t want to learn any new tricks either., former Gravette resident, is a longtime freelance columnist for The Rogers Hometown News.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 10/21/2009

Print Headline: Bah! It’s A Marvelous Technological Age!

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