Technology leaves me befuddled. Thursday night, I spent the better part of the evening cussing out my failing printer and then attempted to fix it through the brilliant technique of staring gloomily at it for 35 minutes, pushing random bits with a pencil and repeatedly plugging and unplugging the cord. You will be shocked to learn that this had no discernible effect on the machine.
It wouldn’t have bothered me quite as much if I wasn’t already beaten down with my inability to comprehend the digital world. This past December, I attempted the Reverb 10 challenge– remember that? It didn’t go well, largely due to the fact that the participating bloggers communicated mainly through tweets — which are written in a language akin to Sanskrit, I believe. Yes, I DID google “how to write a tweet”- thank you very much. Also, “what the heck does this tweet say?” and “what are these stupid symbols in this here tweet?” and “what the hell was wrong with e-mail, anyways?” -none of which provided any sort of illumination at all.
Let me say that this inability of mine troubles me deeply. I have always believed in the importance of a flexible mind. I am the first to admit that I am not the smartest person in the room. Too much of my brain is dedicated to pop culture and song lyrics and not enough to, say, world history or trade embargoes. But I have always taken pride in having a certain mental quickness. I remember things quite easily and usually have no problems immediately assimilating new concepts. Throughout my life, my thoughts have felt like a nimble, yellow ball, bouncing quickly through the rooms of my brain…
…until they thud into the rigid walls of my “technological lobe” and sink to a stop.
Dead ball on the court.
This is deeply, deeply discouraging. I am 41-years-old; an age that, in my mind, I associate with a certain competence. When my grandfather was my age, he could fix anything; tractor, phone, faucet, cracked foundation…. my father is probably building a new shed somewhere, right this instant. And here I sit, morosely poking at my printer with a writing implement, profoundly resentful of the technology that has reduced me to this state.
I do not grasp the logic. I do not have an ap for that. My default is set to “old-timey.” I do my taxes with a pencil and a piece of scratch paper (No “Quickbooks” for me, thanks!) and largely regard the world wide web — the singular most powerful tool available to mankind — as mainly a receptacle for celebrity gossip and recipes.
Now I’ve signed up for Networked Blogs. I don’t really know what it is, or what it can do, other than a vague notion that I could possibly gain a few more readers… though the how of that totally escapes me. There is something about “syndication” and there seems to be some sort of “I’ll subscribe to your blog, if you subscribe to mine” sort of bartering and also voting. It’s all very vexing.
On the upside, you will notice that I managed to install their “widget” on the sidebar of my blog.
I take my success where I can find it.