Every time I call my 81 year old grandmother on the cell phone I gave her 2 1/2 years ago the call connects, I can hear her somewhere in the distance saying "Okay, now, which button is it?", followed by a disconnect. She then calls me back from her home phone, and tells me I need to teach her how to answer "that damn thing".
Now, my grandmother is a highly intelligent woman, so I have to ask myself how she came to a place where something we take for granted is too difficult to master? How is it that one becomes unable to keep up with progress?
The answer is, it sneaks up on us when we're not looking.
When we're young and single and only responsible for number one we have the attention span required to grasp every new advance out of the box. But once we're married and/or have children, when we become responsible for not just another person's well being, but their schedule, as well as our own (and maybe it's for 3 or 4 or 5 other people) we start purging our lives of things that are less necessary, like what-in-the-heck does "4G" stand for, anyway?
We also start becoming more judgemental of things that threaten to take our time. For example, I have never nor will ever have a 'MySpace' page. It reminds me of an online dating site on LSD. And yet, the more civilized Facebook finally dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the world of social networking in 2007. In my estimation, this was all I had time for. I could check my email on my Blackberry, and go home and lurk on Facebook for a bit while doing laundry. What else did I need?
I can see how I might have looked up one day, through the ancient eyes of an elder, and not known where my tidy, easy, little world went. Except that the Latin Lover talked me into upgrading to a Droid. "What do I need with a touch-screen," says I? "I LIKE my buttons!" 2 months later in a text: OMGSH, I luv this phone!! I think I could control NASA from here!!
And Tweeting? WTH? What's a tweet? If you tweet does that make you a twit? I don't need ONE MORE THING to keep me from doing the laundry, right? Except that now I find out that writers can use it as a marketing tool. A what? Well, read THIS BLOG for starters. And then jump over to THIS BLOG and scan through the comments for Nathan Lowell and the thread related to what he said.
The good news is someday I am going to be an 81 year old author who can use a cell phone, and a BlueRay player, who Tweets, and posts, and touches screens.
But by then my granddaughter will have given me a holographic monocle projection device, and I'll be asking her to teach me how to answer the damn thing.