The reds and greens of Christmas have turned to the gold and silver of that annual celebration – New Year’s Eve. Living in the city now, we have discovered that celebrating is more expensive and far busier than celebrating in the country. Many people our age just stay home, trying to stay awake until past 10:00, and working on their New Year’s resolutions. This year I’ve been thinking about abandoning the standard “eat less and exercise more” routine and trying out a new one: conquering Technology. I’m not sure I can do it; at the mere sound of this word I begin to hyperventilate.
Before we retired, my husband Peter and I were school administrators. Every working day people would ask us for help in solving problems. “How do I fix this?” “What plan will help me deal with that?” We knew the answers. We were In Charge. We walked the halls of our schools carrying our Blackberrys with Authority!
When we retired, we abandoned those menacing devices, planning for an uncomplicated life where we could go to the bathroom in peace. Instead we found a different scene entirely. Our Blackberrys are gone but in their place are ipads and smartphones. We were pretty good at sending emails, but now email is replaced by texting. We figured out facebook and now it’s instagram. We are confronted with learning a whole new language: algorithms, memes, cookies, search engines, hotspots, GIF’s, and on and on. And out trusty Webster’s dictionary – no help at all.
No longer can we make a simple phone call to order tickets for a show; we have to go online, remember which password to use, and hurry to fill out all the fields before our session times out. We are encouraged to do all our banking online, but heaven help us if we misplace a zero. In restaurants and even hospitals we are asked for our cellphone number so somebody can text us when our table or stretcher is ready.
We especially noticed this steep learning curve on Christmas Day. I had asked Peter to buy me a new Fitbit to replace one I had lost. I figured I had experience from my old model and would just plug the Fitbit into my laptop and download the app. But the cord didn’t fit anywhere and there was NO instruction booklet. I couldn’t even get started! Fortunately our techie kids arrived and explained that the cord was for charging the device and then the app could be downloaded through the magic of Bluetooth. I watched in awe as the smartphone and the Fitbit sat side by side on the couch, sharing data.
Next, we began our traditional Secret Santa gift exchange. The first few gifts were safe ones: beer and nuts, LED candles with only an on-off switch, toilet paper with Donald Trump’s face on each square. Then someone unwrapped a Google Nest. The giver explained to us that this device is like Alexa, the electronic know-it-all who sits on a coffee table and runs your house. After that, it was our turn to choose – either the Google Nest or a bagged gift that appeared to be a throw: a cozy blanket that we could nap under during those long cold January days. No installation app required. Well I don’t even have to tell you which one we reached for, do I?
As 2019 draws to a close, I hope you will welcome 2020 with some New Year’s resolutions that are achievable; resolutions that will give you comfort during the new year.
And I thank you, dear readers, for your response to my blog. In just over 6 months, more than 50 dedicated followers and many more occasional readers have figured out enough technology to join me on Tuesday mornings and share stories. My wish for all of us is this: a new year filled with the joy we find together in the little miracles of our lives, no matter where we are.
3 thoughts on “Nest Or Blanket?”
Love your blog Sue!
Happy New Year to you and Peter and all your loved ones!
I’m with you on technology and can you believe I sold computers at IBM? Glad I’m retired now…it’s all too much
to keep up with. John and I bought new Apple cell phones and we are struggling with What’s App, Messaging and
texting. Let alone how to put in all the contacts. And yes, our children come for yet another lesson. So keep
exercising and going to Timmies. See you tonight and Happy New Year. Love Ruth x
Happy New Year Sue and Peter. I hope technically it will be easier for you so you can concentrate on your golf game. Much more fun. Luv Mxx
Sent from my iPhone