Technologically Impaired

P7100476I am so far behind the times it isn’t funny. Case in point. Computer skills. I know how to push the button to turn on the machine and open Word to a blank page. I have absolutely no trouble filling that page with ruminations. I can touch type standing on my head on an American, French and German keyboard, but organizing a filing system and using PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Entourage, Firefox, Google +, Google.docs, Google anything, Presi, Outlook Express, and American Express leaves me baffled.

I’ve lost countless emails in cyberspace and have folders full of columns floating over the Atlantic. I have thousands of pages of articles, letters, and journal entries that I can no longer locate. My computer is a wild beast that eats my words for breakfast.

My husband has a computer brain, wired with its own set of megas and watts.

My brain has no wires. He tells me, “Use logic!”

Logic? I am perpetually lost. I was born directionally handicapped, devoid of reasoning skill. I am computer illiterate.

“Create a filing system to organize your work,” he insists.

“I do.”

“Everything you’ve written in the last quarter of century is filed under the heading LETTER,” he laments. “No wonder you can’t find anything.”

He clicks on LETTER. Up pops the heading– TOOTHPASTE.

“You need to keep a note written to Colgate for a rebate on a purchase that you made back in 1985?”

“I liked the way it was worded.”

“Think of your computer as a storage closet. Would you keep old clothes forever?”

Yes! Yes! Yes! My closet, like my computer, is jam-packed with memories. I have cupboards filled with t-shirts collected over the past half century. To throw one out would be like discarding an old friend

I have even more trouble tossing out word. Alas, words pile up faster than clothes. I cannot process day-to-day events unless I write it down. Like a photographer, I capture events, feelings and people in word pictures freezing time. I am memory maker, a dream catcher for soul.

It breaks my heart to know that after hours of searching for the perfect combination of words, my a blog will be read in a rush over coffee and then deleted before the day is over. I can no more pitch my columns into the trash bin at the bottom of my page than I could discard the drawing my son made in 1st grade.

I am a historian, a time collector. To throw out parts of my past would be sacrilege.   Consequently, I spend even more hours perusing my files with the FIND button than I do digging through my closet for my favorite old Illinois State University T-shirt.

To make matters worse, every second, a new electronic device is created. Computers are outdated as soon as they roll off the assembly line. Every time I turn around, my husband insists its time to upgrade and get the latest mega watt machine arguing that the old one is no longer powerful enough to hold all my musings.

The nightmare begins again. I struggle to learn codes wired to male model brains. Logic? If a female mind created the computer the delete button would be a blinking red light with a siren, so nothing would be trashed by accident.

I ‘ve mastered one maneuver. SAVE. SAVE. SAVE.

Beware. Any reader who discards this message within the next century may be subject to unforeseen catastrophe. Abracadabra. Cyberspace voodoo on you!

Posted in humor, inspiration, social view.

31 Comments

  1. LOL, you’re a technological hoarder! I’m afraid I’ve come round to your husband’s approach, mainly in self-defense. I live in a family full of computer types, and if I wanted to avoid being mocked to death, I pretty much had to adopt some sort of system. But I feel for you, I really do.

    • Unfortunately, the techier my family became, the more impaired I got. Every time I asked for an explanation, they just yelled a little louder. ha ha

  2. http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/devonthink-personal.html
    You could probably solve all your problems with a program like this, but you’d have to be willing to update that 80s iMac.

    What you said about computers being outdated as soon as they’re produced is not accurate. My MacBook Pro is going strong after seven years. Sometimes you do have to upgrade memory to keep up with the operating system updates. But the software becomes more powerful and easier to use year after year, so it’s worth it.

    • Thanks for the advice, Kate. Actually my iMac has been updated but that was an old photograph. Unfortunately, my brain has not been progressing as fast as Apple. I will be sure to check out the link.

  3. I know this is so true for many people I meet. I fortunately got into computing 22 years ago and loved it so much I got my masters in it. I think it’s best tacking one thing at at time that you want to learn…and don’t quit until you feel comfortable with that one thing. Each goal you reach will make you feel so much better!

    • Thanks for the advice, Carolann. With my ADHD brain, I keep flitting from one thing to another and regressing in everything. I will try your approach.

  4. I can give no hints about a Mac, but newer PCs have a great search function to find where the heck you’ve put those charmed words. Open with a right click on something to the effect of “open in file location” and you can see where it is, in addition to just the thing itself.

    • Thanks, Lee Isbell. I will try that on my PC at school. I seem to be searching for lot files on a half a dozen different “virtual” desktops.

  5. “Unfortunately, my brain has not been progressing as fast as Apple” Truer words were never spoken! Could we please just stop progressing for a few years so I can catch up?

  6. Just so you know, i have saved every one of your blogs! Granted, i haven’t read all of them, but i’m saving them to read or re-read. Of course, i have them saved in my Outlook files in a folder all their own. i’d love to help you get organized on your computer! Maybe i’ll have to take a trip to Switzerland! 🙂

  7. Just so you know, i have saved every one of your blogs! Granted, i haven’t read all of them, but i’m saving them to read or re-read. Of course, i have them saved in my Outlook files in a folder all their own. i’d love to help you get organized on your computer! Maybe i’ll have to take a trip to Switzerland! 🙂

  8. You don’t have to know how it works or logically what makes sense,it just does. That’s my mantra with computer stuff and I recommend it! Good luck, but please take the hex off because I may delete this not intentional of course!

  9. Pat, I’m a web designer so I HAVE to know my way around a computer. That said, I don’t believe gender has a thing to do with your difficulty! If I can learn this stuff, you can, too. It’s all quite logical, as Mr. Spock (and the Frenchman) would say! Pardon me, but I got a good chuckle out of your description of keeping everything in your closet — seriously?!

    • I think part of the problem is that I learned how to use a computer listening to instructions in French. Maybe something got lost in the translation. You are a web designer! Wow. Maybe I should give up and fly you over to Switzerland to redesign my web and give me private ICT tutoring in English. ha

      • I’ve never been to Switzerland, Pat — of course, you’d have a hard time getting me to do anything productive, seeing as how your scenery is so fabulous!

        • Don’t let the photos fool you. To make sure you get work done, I’d fly you over in the winter when the cloud cover collapses over our towns like a wet blanket and you can’t see anything. ha

  10. Pat, I’m a web designer so I HAVE to know my way around a computer. That said, I don’t believe gender has a thing to do with your difficulty! If I can learn this stuff, you can, too. It’s all quite logical, as Mr. Spock (and the Frenchman) would say! Pardon me, but I got a good chuckle out of your description of keeping everything in your closet — seriously?!

  11. Laughed until I cried imagining you with your finger on the ‘find’ button… How organised are you with your Basketball training programmes? I reckon you can work on transferring some of those amazing organisational skills from your practice to a few folders with clearly labelled Word documents. The brain is a really amazing thing once you get started and I have word docs within folders within folders within folders…. I can track them down and easily remember the routes to get there! But even my daughter laughed the other day when I had a folder named ‘everything’! I explained that it was a back-up folder for everything… there IS logic there – see!! Hehe 🙂 miss your creatively chaotic ways, ‘cos that makes who you are… our loveable Pat xx

    • Oh Rach, I do miss you. My creatively chaotic ways…says it all. I remember I used to be in awe of your organization skills running the department. Like your everything file, I have a back burner file where I leave all my half baked blog ideas to simmer.

  12. Laughed until I cried imagining you with your finger on the ‘find’ button… How organised are you with your Basketball training programmes? I reckon you can work on transferring some of those amazing organisational skills from your practice to a few folders with clearly labelled Word documents. The brain is a really amazing thing once you get started and I have word docs within folders within folders within folders…. I can track them down and easily remember the routes to get there! But even my daughter laughed the other day when I had a folder named ‘everything’! I explained that it was a back-up folder for everything… there IS logic there – see!! Hehe 🙂 miss your creatively chaotic ways, ‘cos that makes who you are… our loveable Pat xx

    • Oh Rach, I do miss you. My creatively chaotic ways…says it all. I remember I used to be in awe of your organization skills running the department. Like your everything file, I have a back burner file where I leave all my half baked blog ideas to simmer.

  13. You and me both, Pat! It’s hard trying to keep up with the ever changing tech times, but we just persevere because we’re made that way!

  14. You and me both, Pat! It’s hard trying to keep up with the ever changing tech times, but we just persevere because we’re made that way!

  15. Hilarious! I am glad I am not the only one that gets frustrated with technology. And where do all those documents we lost end up?? 🙂

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