At one time, I was involved in the latest technology as the marketing director in charge of the company website. Being on the Worldwide Web was a new requirement for the average corporation back then. B2B was innovative. Social media was non-existent. Cell phones were clunky. However, being involved in technology meant I was doing what my boss told me to do. Being aware of technology was something else. To improve my awareness, I would go to the bowels of company headquarters and talk to the techno-geeks there about our website. I had a sizeable vocabulary (thanks to my junior high school Latin teacher, Mrs. Box), but they used words I did not know. Techno-enlightenment came slow for me.
Several years have passed since I had to pretend I was fluent in techno-babble. Today, I am not even fluent in phone; I still have a landline. I do have a teensy, green flip phone that I won’t use in a mall because I would hate to incite a riot as people were jostling for the best gawking position. And for sure, I won’t use my green-weenie flip phone while driving because other people see it and crack up – laughing, then perhaps wrecking. Given my current level of phone, any status I had from my days as a corporate web mistress has long since been lost.
My status has been downgraded, but that doesn’t mean I am completely without techno-toys. Along with my green weenie, I have a laptop, an iPad, and an original Kindle and seven tv remotes. However, the combination of gadgets is not necessarily a good thing. I don’t get to use the remotes and I sometimes can’t remember how to work the rest of my oh-so-necessary techno-toys. I pound the screen on my old Kindle to no avail because it refuses ‘swipe’ to the next page. I had to buy a keyboard for my iPad because my fingers will not type on its screen. Texting on my green flip phone is unimpressive and embarrassing as I frantically press a key countless times to spell out double letters. Too many words have double letters. Just look at the previous sentence.
Using technology is easy compared to maintaining it. Uploads, downloads, phishing, encryption, SSL, viruses, spyware, malware – the list never ends. If you don’t triple-password protect your every keystroke, you could be the next victim of a Russian or Chinese hacker. (Don’t worry about North Korean ones though, unless you have celebrity status. Those NK snobs don’t hack regular people.) Heaven forbid you should be the one whose device is infected and broadcasts evil to your friends via an innocuous email. In that case, being de-friended would be the least of your problems.
The value of communicating through technology is readily apparent, even to me. Technology – specifically, social media – allows you to keep track of just how many friends you have. Twitter allows people who can’t spell to chat at you. Email lets you actually communicate with friends who can read or who like getting the same jokes forwarded to them year after year. You simply have to use some sort of technology nowadays. Being a Luddite will put you eons behind in social, business, political, and financial awareness…besides, what are you going to do while everyone else is glued to their smart phones? Talk?