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Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm With Stupid

For several weeks the battery on my "smart" phone has been running down within hours even though it has a full charge every morning. It was also getting hot.

I've got the Droid. It's a good little phone with internet capability. Aside from the fact that it won't ring in my house and never tells me when I have voicemails waiting, it serves my purpose. But the battery issue was new and since I'd read hot batteries could start fires, I grew a little concerned and decided to get a new battery.

I explained my problem to cute little Becky, expecting to shell out the forty bucks for a new battery. Instead, she says: "How many apps do you have?"


"Apps," she repeats louder. Obviously she doesn't realize that I'm stupid, not deaf.

She checks my phone and there are dozens of apps on my phone. Where the heck did they come from? She tells me Droid puts them in and I can't remove them. But then she notices I have VZ Navigator installed, a recent addition when I got lost trying to find a friend's house. 

"That one," she says "will suck you dry." (I'm sure she meant the app.)

She asks me if I'd like to try an app killer before I buy the battery, and recommended Advanced Task Killer Froyo. It sounded rather permanent to me, but she assured me it works great and that she uses it on her phone. 

That girl's fingers whizzed by so fast she was a blur. Within seconds she had installed this app and then put it on some default mode so I'd never have to touch it again. "Try it," she says. "If it doesn't work we'll order you a battery."

I went home, discouraged. I mean, I have underwear older than this girl. What does she know? But I was willing to give it a shot. 

Believe it or not, it solved my problem. No more hot phone, and no more drained battery. I get to keep my navigator and my killer.

I told Greg this story and admitted that I felt awfully dumb next to these kids. They can text, and sync, and game faster than I can tie my shoes. Cute little Becky talked about all these apps like she designed them herself. It depressed me that I couldn't hang with her ilk.

But Greg made me feel better. He said: "And how many of them can write complete sentences, dress out a whole pig, or diagnose a sick dog? How many know how to shoot, garden, and are willing to go head to head with a wild coyote?"

It's all relative, I suppose. But I still feel dumb. One of these days technology is going to pass me up all together. But if those kids ever need a crash course on how to splint a broken leg or re-plumb a house, I'm their mama. 

Do you ever worry that technology might pass you by? Can you text and game like the current crop of youngsters?  


Darke Conteur said...

I'm with you. Husband and I went looking for ereaders on the weekend and the sales girl was rambling on like a Star Trek fan about the features of each reader. I just smiled and nodded...

Rosie Lane said...

Nope. When my step-daughter visits, there are two phones waiting for her to sort out. I can just about send a text message.

Renee Miller said...

I've never texted, so I don't know if I can keep up with the kids. I can game, when I want to. But gaming makes me angry and brings the ugly out, so we've all agreed I won't do it.

I do sometimes worry technology will pass me by at some point, mostly because anything I learn never seems to stick. I connected the modem, router, and old laptop when we decided we'd try to use this newfangled wireless Internet stuff. 7 hours and many curses later it was working. How? Your guess is as good as mine. We just crossed our fingers that I never had to disconnect it for any reason.

I'm not really concerned though. I've got three kids who can help me struggle through.

Mike Keyton said...

Damn, I just made a facebook comment without reading the whole blog. I was right, but clearly redundant. Sparky the sales assistant had got in first :)

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Ref: smile and nod
LOL. I do that a lot.

Rosie: I knew kids were useful for something. :) I don't understand texting. Wouldn't it be easier to call?

Renee: Damn my shortsightedness. I should've had kids. It would've solved a lot of my tech-xiety. I'm a button pusher. I just keep hitting stuff until I reach the right combination--so I understand your 7 hours of angst.

Mike: Ah, that explains the comment. LOL. Believing I only had three apps loaded I assumed it wasn't the apps. I wasn't counting on Droid to add all the other ones.

Angelina Rain said...

Don't feel bad. Believe it or not but I'm with you. A few weeks ago I walked into the cell phone store ready to throw my smart phone right at their heads. I complained that my phone freezes, A LOT! It would take me ten minutes just to make one phone call as it would keep freezing. It turned out I had too many apps on my phone and the phone didn't have enough storage left to function as a phone.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: I suppose it was inevitable what with the thousands of apps on the market, but now I know better.

Technology, driving you insane since the Stone Age.

L.G.Smith said...

If you need tech help, grab the nearest fourteen year old. LOL.

I'm waiting for my son to take programming in school so he can build me a website. :)

K.T. Hanna said...

I love technology. I have to have the latest, the newest and the shiniest!

I also met my husband in an MMORPG (online role-playing game). So, I'm probably extremely biased. Still, technology is advancing so fast, sometimes I wonder where we'll be in ten years and how I'll feel about all the new developments.

Gadgets and Technology are just a part of life - and largely less important than writing, cooking and having other animals and people depend on you.

Personally - I think a balance of them is healthy. And hey, you DO have a 'smart' phone. That's more than a LOT of people!

Krista D. Ball said...

My partner is an engineer, a geek, a computer programmer, and techie. Kids come to our house and are amazed how a computer sitting in the pantry houses our entire music, TV, documentary, and movie collection and how we watch TV using the Playstation.

I always feel dumb in my own house. Then, I feel dumb when I go to work because I work in a development team. Then I go to someone's house and end up helping them with their computer because I actually know more than the average person.

Sigh. I've tried so hard to shed this geek mantle. It just fits so, so well.

PS We also built a Lego mindstorms robot that calls "here kitty kitty" and shoots marbles at cats. We're losers to the nth degree.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I can text (my daughter taught me), but gaming is out of the question. We've owned plenty of gaming systems at home and I don't play them. They're more frustrating than fun (not to mention a time waster).

My phone is a flip phone. I doubt I'll ever get a smart phone, unless that's the only kind they make when I'm forced to replace my current one. Technology passed me long ago!

Anonymous said...

LOL, oldest beastie got my old phone for his birthday and I upgraded mine. In an hour he had that old one doing things I didn't even know it was capable of! Heck yeah, technology is going to pass me up, of course that's assuming it hasn't already :)

LD Masterson said...

I used to lose sleep over keeping up with technology. But then, I was an IT Director so it was kind of expected of me. Now, I just let it roll on by. If there's something I really need to know, I'm sure one of the grandkids will explain it to me.

Maria Zannini said...

Sorry, I've been gone all day. P/T

LG: I know, right. That'll teach me to remain childless. We need to have Rent-A-Teenager.

KT: Oh, you're one of those! LOL. My hubby is the geek in the family. He plays all these games and is always looking for the next gizmo. He's very expensive to keep.

Krista: It's all relative. There's always someone faster, smarter, or more successful. My best friend's husband designs software architecture. Corporations fly him all over the world to help them with their systems. I've got the tech brain of an amoeba next to him.

What's funny is that he's absolutely fascinated with our way of life--so alien from his own.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: I really didn't want a Smartphone, but considering where I live, it's come in very useful. I'm glad I got it now.

Raelyn: What a great present to give him. That's hilarious that he can show you up with YOUR phone. With all your boys at least you'll never lack for tech support.

Linda: I try not to fall too far behind. I won't game cuz it's a time suck and texting just seems silly to me when I can call.

Software is my strong suit. I learn it pretty quickly, but that's only because I learned the basics from the original programs that came out back in the Stone Age.

julie fedderson said...

Something similar happened to me today--couldn't figure out why my calendar meetings were all an hour off. Girl in my first meeting grabs my phone and clicked some setting for DST and tah-dah, fixed. I feel dumb most days, too.

Krista D. Ball said...

Maria - send us some specs and we'll build you a Lego chicken centarian guard prototype. You don't have any more issues with dogs vs chickens :D


Oh, god. I really need to get out.

Angela Brown said...

Technology becomes antiquated before it becomes a toddler. I've given up trying to keep up with the youngsters and am currently satisfied with making it the best I can. I can text and I can respond to e-mails. Sometimes I even respond to a Facebook comment from my phone. Yeah, I'm just knowledgeable enough to break something :-)

Isis Rushdan said...

Fantastic story. I have no clue when it comes to technology. I think I'll pass on a Droid if they automatically install apps that "suck you dry", lol.

I'm constantly worried about getting left behind, by technology, the latest form of social media, the new hip lingo all the kids are using. My list goes on and on :).

Maria Zannini said...

Julie: I would settle for a smidgen of tactile proficiency so I don't fat-finger everything.

Krista: Oh, man. There's only one problem with that. Who's going to protect the guard from the dogs? LOL.

Actually I have a new story to tell about the chickens getting in the dog run. I'll have to post it next week.

Angela: There are some years when technology jumps in leaps and bounds. I remember computer processors that were dinosaurs less than six months after they came out.

I haven't tried responding to FB on my phone yet. Baby steps.

Isis: Oh, don't get me started on social media. I've put the brakes on that. It's gotten ridiculous what keeps vying for our attention. I'm not a trend chaser.

Kaye Manro said...

Two things: Yes I think about it. And No I can't! Geeky girls don't always have the geek stuff down.

Jenny Schwartz said...

The wonderful thing is how good the kids are at helping. I just flat out can't believe anyone who says today's teens are rude.

Maria Zannini said...

Kaye: Our true talent is being to make everyone else think we know this stuff.

Jenny: This is very true. And I think this comes from the fact that they want our approval. I can't tell you how many times I've gushed over a young person's brilliance and you can see his/her chest grow with pride. We should commend them more often. They are appreciated.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

well, if it makes you feel any better i don't have a smart phone yet.
BUT i can also diagnose a sick dog. It's a better deal, in my book

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Yup. I'd rather have a healthy dog than more apps.

Dru said...

I love technology, but I don't let it over rule me too much.

Stacy Low said...

You asked if technology "might" pass me by - ha! That race is long over! I got my first laptop last week and I am still trying to figure out that roller-ball thingy. I might as well be navigating with my toes. I'll get a smart phone soon and have no illusions that I'll feel like anything other than a chimp trying to do rocket science. But I am still a little trainable. :)

PS My apologies if I've posted this comment 27 times - I'm having trouble with blogger - do you see any irony in that given the topic today? :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: So that's where I went wrong.

Stacy: Oh, lord, I hear ya. LOL. Sorry Blogger has been fussy today. They must be messing with something in the background again. --As if I needed anything else to get complicated.

Charlie said...

I used to consider myself pretty tech savvy. I even did a short stint as a web designer, but now my skills are woefully out of date and most of the software I used to use is obsolette. That is just the way of technology. I remember when I was a kid, my aunt used to work with a computer. She used punch cards. Remember those? LOL!

But you're hubby is right. You have lots of smarts and lots of skills. I'll bet that phone shop girl couldn't navigate the waters of self-publishing!

Shelley Munro said...

Maria, you have life skills, which are very necessary. Imagine if we have a power crisis. You'd manage to survive with your life skills, but the younger generation won't be able to do a thing with their technology because it's power reliant.

I'm not too bad with technology. Not an expert but capable most of the time. I'll leave the pigs and coyotes to you :)

Marianne Arkins said...

I'm good with tech, but my DD is better. She's fearless when investigating things and very intuitive. I imagine it comes from being born with tech in place. Heck ... we didn't have microwaves until I was almost out of high school, and on my Betamax VCR we were thrilled to have a pause button on a twenty foot cord so we could record things (while watching them) without commercials.

Ah ... those were the days (:::thinks fondly back to using a Commodore 64::::).

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm not as good as some of these kids, but I can hold my own. LOL

My phone is not fancy at all. I'm lucky I have a keyboard.

Maria Zannini said...

Charlie: OMG! I do remember punch cards. (We thought we were so high tech back then.) Thanks for reminding me of my age. LOL.

Shelley: That sounds like the premise of a book.

Marianne: Ref: fearless and intuitive
I noticed the same thing with the young people I encounter. It must be nice to be so innocent. Wait until they break something and they have to pay for it themselves.

Jennifer: I really preferred my old phone, but the internet on my smartphone is handy when the power is out.

Tracy Jo said...

Maria - I so know what you mean. I feel pretty young in the scheme of things and the kids blow me away. My niece will pick up my laptop and find things that I had no idea were there. I try to keep up but I guess we can't be good at everything. :-)

Maria Zannini said...

Tracy: Ref: ...we can't be good at everything.

So true. The trick is to do our best in our field of expertise.

Melissa McClone said...

I keep up to keep up with my kids, but I don't know much. I'm just so happy I have them (oldest is 13) to figure out how to work things like my iPhone. It's so organic and instinctual for them. Just figure I know what I know and rely on them for all the techie stuff that leaves me scratching my head! Glad your phone is better.

Maria Zannini said...

Melissa: I'm glad for them. The world is their oyster. It's hard to imagine how far we've come in such a short period of time.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I always make sure to have at least one friend who knows about this stuff. Then I know I won't be left behind. My young friends are the ones that come to me most with life problems, so I guess they're getting something out of it, too.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: So us non-techy types are still useful, huh? We won't be turned into Soylent Green before our time. :)

Dee said...

I am ashamed to admit that when I got my Droid I didn't even know how to answer it when it rang. This is highly embarrassing, since I have an engineering degree and am supposed to be tech savvy for an old f@rt.

But lucky me, my daughters taught me everything, and even installed Advanced Task Killer. Which I accidentally deleted and then they had to re-install. How humiliating.

But now I know all about it, sort of.

Well, at least I know how to answer it. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dee: Can I say you made me feel better. LOL.

When I first got the phone, I kept hanging up on people--or redialing the last number accidentally. I kept apologizing but I'm sure they all thought I was an idiot.

Live Out Loud said...

You're hysterical!!

I keep an attitude that I know what I know and not what I don't - and I'm willing to learn.

My biggest complaint is when the technology doesn't work. The first DVD I ever got I was so frustrated because I couldn't get the special features to come up that I was in tears. It wasn't until much later that I found out the disc (the very expensive disc) was corrupt and it wasn't me not having a clue, it was the crappy technology.

I don't feel like technology is passing me by. I wish the companies would focus on their product and instead of churning out 2020's model tomorrow, actually make a user-friendly, functional product today.

And another thing that should make you feel better (and annoyed), I've been noticing that the computer experts (the ones you call in to fix your computer) have no idea what they're doing. They learn on the job. It happens around me all the time - someone asks, 'Why doesn't this work?' and the computer guy says, 'I don't know' or some professional equivalent and then pulls up an online user manual and inevitably calls someone on the phone to figure it out.

If the computer guys can't fix the computer, what hope do we have at using one??????!!!!!

Maria Zannini said...

Live Out Loud:
Ref: ...then pulls up an online user manual and inevitably calls someone on the phone to figure it out.

I know! LOL. This happened to me. It did not instill me with a lot of confidence.