Learning how to fit into a digital world

Published 9:58 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

At times, I think I was born 50 years too late. I am what you would call technologically challenged.

I yearn for the days when you heard a person’s voice on the phone, rather than a machine. My cell phone is a large ring in my nose, enabling my wife to keep up with my every move. There are no more backyard car repairs; my car must be diagnosed by the dealership.

I hear words like “Facebook,” “Twitter,” Classmates” and “MySpace,” and I don’t know what they mean, except that they have something to do with the computer. And I still don’t care.

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My grandchildren are constantly texting, twittering and emailing, and I wonder if they will lose the skill of talking person to person. How will they communicate in a job interview, ask a girl for her hand in marriage or meet their in-laws for the first time?

I guess they’ll have to twitter.

A blackberry used to be a sweet fruit; now, it’s a high-tech gadget that everyone wants to own. An apple used to be, “Eat one a day and keep the doctor away.”

Now, my grandchildren say, it’s a computer that never gets a virus.

The cowboys hollered “Yahoo!” as they sped across the plains on the backs of their horses. Today, I’m told, it’s a speedy way to communicate. When I hear Amazon, I think of the river; my grandchildren think of shopping online.

Today’s technology is yesterday’s fiction. Comic book character Dick Tracy had a watch with a television screen, and today I can see my grandchildren in Florida as I tell them goodnight.

But wait a minute. Let me rethink this.

Do I really want to give that up, along with my air conditioning, my flat-screen television or my microwave oven?

I guess technology does have some merits, even for a man like me.