Monday, June 27, 2011

Requiem for the Digitally Inept

I have surrendered. The digital age is here to stay and beyond. What is a techno klutz like me supposed to do to survive?

I’ve been taking care of my brother’s cats while he’s on vacation. Of course, he has a state of the art alarm system that is way beyond my comprehension. It has taken me four months in my new apartment to get the hang of my simpler device. When I go out, I put in a code and I have 20 seconds to shut the door. Simple…if I remember it all.

Sometimes, I forget that I have not disarmed the stay at home feature.  It blares as soon as I open the door. It has taken me three months to figure out that I only have to put the code in again to shut it up.

Then there’s the cell phone…another device that is diabolically designed to bring the techno klutz to their knees. It seems our culture has decided the cell phone is now the primary phone connection. What amazes me is that even professionals call a cell phone before they call the house phone. The young officer at the bank left a message on my cell which I finally retrieved five days later since I only use my cell when away from the landline. I need a beeper on my cell phone to let me know I have messages…oh wait a minute…I do. But I have to be powered on.  

Now you take these lethal combinations and they can translate into serious inconvenience. Such was the day I tripped my brother’s house alarm. It took me a good five minutes to realize what the gong was. I managed to shut it off with the remote. The alarm company called as I expected but the password was in the car. “Can you call me back in two minutes? I’m the cat sitter and the password is in my purse in the car.” Talk about sounding suspicious. But the good people must have sensed I was the real deal. Crooks aren’t that spazed.

They called back…I gave them the password and they were content. Or so I thought.
An hour or so later when I got home after doing errands, there was an urgent email from my brother. Where are you? The alarm went off and I couldn’t get hold of you. I left two messages on your phone.  I called the police. 

No there was not one single message on my landline. When did message on your phone translate to I left a voice mail on your cell phone? Since I was powered down and I go days without checking my voice mail…well, you get the picture.

I was out of communication.

Apparently, my brother’s sophisticated alarm system notifies two people. And while I was on the phone talking to one person, another person was calling my brother and the two of them never communicated to one another. All the commotion could have been avoided if I simply kept my cell phone powered on.

So…it’ll take me three more months to get used to remembering that my cell phone has now become my primary source of notification. By then, the digital warriors will insist I have a phone device other than my simple Tracphone then back to the farm for the technologically challenged.  

1 comment:

alberta ross said...

I wont use my mobile for phone calls - only my sister is allowed to call (she's disabled and may need me) a couple of friends can text me but not phone - I will not answer a call (my sister and I have a code) I dont give the mobile number to anyone - they have my land line or nothing!!! be bold tell them all to get a grip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I hate alarms too won't have one in the house - I do like my computer and i-pod tho' - not a complete throw back!