Victims of technology ... we alllll know what that feels like.
Or if you do not, yet, you will sooner or later.
This week we have been struck, assaulted, as it were.
No, it was not the massive decline of the Dow Jones, while experts watched helplessly for hours trying to figure out what was wrong with the stock market, while it fell three hundred and fifty points, before they shut it down. Our own 401(k)s held hostage right along with those of everyone else.
Oh, no. It was not that.
No, we were not standing in one of the endless lines at an airline counter, trying to rebook a flight, while the entire airline's network collapsed, and no one could figure out why.
But that's okay, because, after all, they apologized for "any inconvenience." They are such polite numbskulls, aren't they?
Why what could be inconvenient about missing family events like a wedding or a graduation? Or perhaps, sleeping on a filthy boarding area carpet all night, or a hundred and one other indignities, while they tried to figure out why their own systems were backfiring.
Oh, no. It was not that.
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No, here at the old scatter, the LOC was proudly in possession of a brand new, handy-dandy, voice-activated entertainment system remote device.
And thus, our very own personal technological nightmare began. Although civilization did not come to a end, our union was a near thing there for a few hours.
They are known, actually, as recurring nightmares around here. That is because each time one of us buys a new thinga-majig, or orders a new whatcha-ma-callit, we have this whole terrifying experience to try to survive.
This one was worse than most.
He is, or so he claims, both an intuitive and a tactile tech user.
Translated, this means a) he does not need to read the manual - why waste the time, when you have intuition on your side? - and b) it means he is going to continue to push buttons until something does what he thinks it is supposed to do.
Meanwhile, chaos ensued.
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He located the "listening" button on the new remote, right away, which I must say is more than I have ever been easily able to locate on him. Just saying ...
He already knew the command menus by heart, so he began to speak his truth to this life-aid, without which, the makers tell us we will soon not know how we ever survived. Yes, well, we may not survive with it, either.
"Forward" - he said authoritatively - as it told us it was listening carefully.
Sorry, I didn't understand. (The VA -voice activated text on the screen displayed.)
Can you say that again, please?
Did you say Forward"?
And suddenly the DVR took off like a bat out of a hot cave. And it kept right on going.
STOP - STOP - STOP ! (Shouted the *LOC, not the remote.)
Honey, I said, trying to sound reasonable during the early going, "What button do you hit when it has gone as far forward as you want it to?"
He glanced at me, clearly irritated, and said, "The play button, of course."
"Well, you might try saying "Play" then. Just a thought.
PLAY - he shouted at the device.
Like magic, our program resumed, albeit about a half an hour ahead of where we wanted to be.
He grimly, but manually, hit the rewind button for a few seconds and tried again.
Holding the remote at arms length, and speaking directly to it, as thought it were hearing impaired, he stated emphatically,
But our program disappeared altogether, and a new menu came into view, inviting us to select among several video selections.
One appeared to be a streaming movie entitled "Awkward."
No, not awkward. FORRRRWAAARRRD !!!
Meanwhile in an aside, he says to me conversationally, "Have you heard of a movie called Awkward?"
No, and I don't want to. I'm living that movie. I'd like to watch the ballgame, thank you.
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Eventually he figured out that he didn't need to shout, hold the dratted thing at arm's length, or exxxaggggerate his pronunciation.
At least that is he what he reported to me the following morning. I personally would not know, since I had long since gone to bed.
I had to read about the game in the next morning's newspaper sport section. So, we have come full circle - we may begin with a high-tech voice-activated device; but we will end by reading the information in a paper.
My current opinion of evolving - or devolving - high-technology is not printable. Fortunately, they are still printing newspapers. For now. I am told their days are numbered, however, so you may want to grab one while you still can.
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Hope you are not being held hostage to a high-tech gadget this evening. If one is currently threatening your well-being, RUN !
Until next time ~ your friendly neighborhood techno-peasant - and proud of it.
*Lovable Old Coot