Pam vs Technology

Let’s be real. I’m not going to win. Regardless of how much I know, how much I try to learn, how many questions I ask, technology always has the upper hand.

Why? you may ask.

Because technology has no feelings. Technology really doesn’t care. Technology will simply do whatever it wants regardless of my tears, frustration, or happiness.

Does my printer care that it sometimes prints and sometimes doesn’t? Nope. My printer, with whom I’ve had many disagreements and have not won one round, simply sits on my desk in my office happily doing whatever it is printers do. One morning I got it to print and then a few hours later, nothing. My computer guru and I used Facetime, cell phones, zoom shared screens to figure out how to encourage (and that is a nice word) the printer to consistently print. As I sit here, the last time I tried to print from my computer it did print. Honestly, I’m scared to try again. I don’t have the energy! Technology: 1 Pam: 0

In November I had to purchase a new computer. The computer I was using was bought used from a business at least twenty years ago. This computer seemed less temperamental than other technology I have a relationship with, however, it wasn’t the most reliable. It was also very heavy. There was an original email account on this computer that was closed down without my knowledge. Over the years I had a computer genius who would come and help, especially when I couldn’t send or receive emails. That computer, however, was the one I started writing on and we have a close relationship because of the time spent together. We will always hold one another in our hearts. Technology: 2 Pam: 0

But.

When I had the hard drive from this old computer migrated to the new computer I bought, it completely shut down-I couldn’t get into anything at all! It wanted the old password to the old account! So, it also sits on the desk with the printer. I keep moving it around as I work at that desk.

The migration also brought over thousands of emails both in gmail and outlook. Luckily, my phone and computer were not in sync. So, I could delete off emails off my computer and still have emails on my phone. And vice versa. I figured out that I could delete thousands of gmails at the same time from gmail that would leave email on outlook. I spent many hours deleting mail from gmail.

And then one day ALL the messages were back.

Somehow someway the emails and phone were in sync, and I was left with 24,000 emails. In fairness, these were from the beginning of time. For a while, I left it. I started deleting from gmail and to my surprise they were deleting off outlook. Oh oh. I needed those! They were gone. Unretrievable.

Guess I didn’t need those after all.

In March I could no longer stand it, so I spent a few hours deleting (once again) 24, 000 emails. Down to about 438 I felt much lighter.

Technology: 3 Pam: 0

Let’s talk about my new best friends Google Home and Alexa. I didn’t even know Google Home existed until I was at a friend’s house, and she said, “Google, play rock and roll.” I knew about Alexa because people talked to their houses all the time. But music on demand with no giant stereo and a million wires? Sign me up. Mini google and I became friends immediately. I loved her from day one. Yes, I had to figure out how to link Google into my internet which took a call to Google, however I figured it out! And moving Google twice, I was able to connect her each time. Google now sits downstairs, and I listen to 550 KTRS all day. Switching to music on the weekends. Alexa is upstairs, a gift from a friend. I had to figure out which passwords to use to get her started which was stressful in and of itself, because I have a million passwords-all written down in a little pink journal. (I’ve gotten pretty smart-I made a copy of all these pages!)

Sometimes I have Google and Alexa playing the same station and sometimes to give my brain exercise I have them playing different stations.

Turns out Google seems to be listening to me. Often when I’m on the phone and say, “how are you?” she answers. She also immediately provides information if I ask other questions aloud. Sometimes I think she needs a break because she just turns herself off. (My house is such fun.) And the best is when Google won’t turn off when I ask. She just keeps going! I’ve decided Google and Alexa might just be friends….and keeping tabs on me! Technology: 4 Pam: 0

Leaving the best for last or the most time consuming/frustrating/infuriating/confusing device-the iPhone.

I could just stop here and anyone with a phone over the age of 45 will understand.

But that’s not my style.

Let’s talk cell phones.

Just to brief you on my frustration level with my phone, many months ago my sister, who is the nicest person you will ever meet basically told me that when I get frustrated with my phone, she either doesn’t answer my texts or tells me I need a breather.

Where to start?

Well, the learning curve with an iPhone didn’t seem too crazy. My first iPhone was a hand-me-down from one of my kids which didn’t survive it’s drop into the ocean water. The second iPhone, also a hand-me-down just wasn’t up to the job anymore. Basically, at some point, it wasn’t going to work and wasn’t going to be supported by Apple. And so, a brand-new iPhone was adopted. That learning curve was steep. All sorts of things to learn and figure out. Which I’m still learning.

Apparently, my iPhone and I have a “we’re not sure of each other” relationship. For me, the iPhone is my ONLY form of communication. Therefore, I might turn off sound, but I always have my phone near me. For someone who could easily leave all technology in a tiki hut and spend the day on the beach…it’s surprising I feel the need to have my phone close. I might not be using it, but I have it with me. In Heartbreak Florence Williams, writes of her emergency beacon that she always kept ON her body during a solo canoe trip, even checking to make sure it worked time and time again. I often feel that way. My iPhone is also my emergency beacon. I’m still tentative to turn my iPhone off for fear it won’t turn back on!

All sorts of smaller issues have come up with the iPhone. Things disappearing, not being able to do something I want. A few weeks ago, a message came up that uploading to the iCloud was paused. And then the worst message: NO MORE ROOM in the cloud.

How, I ask you, is that possible? Have you seen the clouds? They are made of big white puffy cotton. How would I run out of room?

Apparently when you have 10, 000 photos on your phone and a few too many texts, the cloud says, “no more room!” I began deleting pictures, thinking this would be the answer. Going back to 2013 it was quite a trip down memory lane. And I found WAY too many selfies of just myself. What was I thinking?! The interesting aspect of this is that I could surmise what was going on in my life from the screen shots of inspiring messages sent by friends.

Being curious, I googled the issue, I went to the AT&T store, I called the Apple store. Those texts had to be deleted. It wasn’t all the photos, although they are a big part of the issue. And so, I deleted all text strings that I could. Next, I tried to download the photos from the cloud to an external hard drive, but for whatever reason, they downloaded to a zip file and then I couldn’t open them. There are still 10, 000 Photos on my phone and in the cloud, however, I opened quite a bit of room in my cloud. Which apparently made everyone quite happy. Including the cloud. Technology: 4 AND 5 Pam: 0

I refuse to give up. As my sister reminded me, “turning off any device sems to fix a lot of things…” I will continue learning about technology and trying to manage it. I will ask questions and delete pictures or download them. We all know, though, that technology is really managing me. Must go, Google is trying to have a conversation. Expect good. Sparkle on.

About Pam Wilson

I've been writing since I can remember. At heart, I am a story-teller; making sense of my world, finding humor and light through writing. Now I help clients to write their own stories. As I continue my own writing journey, my passion is to help clients write their own stories.

2 Comments

  1. Sandye Muncy on May 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    I LOVE this!!!! My son is a computer geek (degree from Purdue) & he thinks I am hopeless! But, like you, I am learning more every day! Now, my husband, on the other hand, is more in the dark than I am😁



  2. Suzanne Worley on May 15, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    I tried to leave a comment, but I got a “failed” notice. LOL