I can feel, for perhaps the second time in my life, that the technology is slipping away from me. I think my generation, and that of my parents, even one of my grandparents who lives on and emails into her nineties, are the only groups who will have this sensation regarding digital technology…
My children are digital natives: electrickery is just an extension of their senses. Their cognition embodies not only their digits, but tapping keyboards and wielding a stylus and swiping and clicking and all manner of things that would make you seem unutterably afflicted in the 1970s, when I grew up.
Back then when the phone rang, the world stopped; it was A Phone Call and to be treated seriously. Oh, just remember the telephone, with its challenging spiralling coil joining the giant receiver to the dialling part (funny how we didn’t call it a speaker receiver once the two functions were melded into one gross plastic curve). Now nearly all my calls go to voice mail and I tap out this post on a screen keyboard from my phone – which is a world first for me and a painfully slow one at that.
I was looking for the monstrous beast that is my phone in my bag this week. ‘Oh I’m just looking for my camera, ‘ I muttered. I am confused now by the multiplicity of the new technologies. I don’t understand the ‘apps’, I have one for drawing (I still can’t draw) ), I have one that plays the guitar (I still can’t play the guitar). I mean who wants to be able to strum tunelessly on the phone at bedtime? Just because?
In the 80s my father bought four of us kids a Spectrum computer to share: I was not impressed. It was something to do with its purpose – I couldn’t work out what it was for. A few years later I went to work, learned a basic word processing programme and a smattering of DOS language and got on with the job. From time to time I would be sent somewhere highly regressive (the NHS, a metal merchants, a marketing department) and be given a typewriter as my tool to work with. Correcting an error or changing the ribbon on one of these dinosaurs always caused me more stress than remembering to save or back up a document.
Technology was good. Technology was god? Just now though, with this new-fangled phablet I lug about, I feel out of sync, like I did when the ZX Spectrum rocked up. I know it can do Stuff, but I am baffled by the purpose of most of it. Still, it’s early days. Someone might try to make me carry one of the old style dog and bones round the streets; I am sure that would concentrate my mind as quickly as the sight of an antiquated typewriter and a ream of foolscap used to. I still count my blessings, but I know I am on the cusp of Out of Touch.
N.b. I have tapped out this whole damn shizzle on a smartphone touchscreen with a stylus pen. The screen is greezy, the tapping slow. I cannot do pictures.
I have had to hop on the old reliable laptop and put in a picture – I don’t know much, but a blog is not a blog in my blog if there ain’t no picture. And I see that posting from the phablet gives me formatting code that I just don’t like the look of…