Saturday, May 22, 2010

Typos and Technophobia

I swear my keyboard has dyslexia. If you could see my posts before I proof them you would swear I was semi- literate. Some of the things I have to take out stagger even me, further lending credence to the notion that It's not me- I'm a grate speller, and I like to use punk-chew-ashun, so therefore it has to be  this darn keyboard.

Confession: I am actually a shocking typist. (are they called key-boardists or something high tech these days?) I'm fast but bad.  In Year 10 "Commercial Studies" back in the dark ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth (typing and shorthand - does anyone use shorthand these days?) I was voted most likely never to be employed as a secretary. Mrs. Hale my Commercial Studies teacher used to despair over my typing accuracy daily and I'm sure it used to keep her awake at nights. Hallelujah for spell check. It's not that my spelling and grammar are so bad , it picks up all my typos. At the moment I am having a high old time substituting this (;) for this (') at every possible opportunity. And sometimes I don't pick it up- which makes me look stupid.  I was so stoked when I recently discovered Blogger has spell check that I threw a party. A spelling party.  So when you see something that doesn't quite make sense here it's not because I'm an ignoramus- or insane - I'm just a really bad typist. Or my keyboard is possessed. Whatever.

These thoughts got me thinking about the place of technology in our lives.And my general stupidity when it comes to being able to use or operate it. I freely admit, I don't control technology-technology controls me.

A couple of weeks ago, I learned how to recharge my mobile phone credit via the Internet.  I still haven't worked out how to do it on my actual phone. It's possible because a little button  on my phone tells me so.  I confess I'm a technological dud  because  apparently I can access the Internet via my mobile phone and in three years I've never worked out how. If I accidentally touch that button and it tries to connect to the Internet I start randomly jabbing keys to make it stop in a panic. It's almost like the Internet button is a "drop saran gas on the world "button such is my terror when I see it trying to connect.   I thought I was hot crap when I worked out how to email stuff from my phone to my home email  about 6 months ago.I still haven't worked out how to email stuff back the other way.  

My technophobia extends to every day house hold appliances including the frypan which never seems to work for me unless it is on "nuke" setting . It is numbered 1-10, but only cooks on 10. It sits inert on numbers 1 through 9.   Apparently it senses when the food needs to be cooked. However  it loses it often - burning the food to a charred crisp. We've just got used to eating everything black on the outside and bleeding in the middle. I just tell everyone it's Cajun.  But, I  hate that my frypan thinks it's smarter than I am.

My stupidity also extends to not being able to be trusted to turn the oven off. My oven decides when the contents have had enough cooking and turns itself off. Usually after 90 minutes. If I believe that something still needs more cooking I have to go and re-program it for additional cooking time. Woe betide I need to cook something for three hours. According to oven law nothing ever needs to be cooked for longer than an hour and a half. The oven must be worried I'm going to burn my house down. Thanks oven for having my back.

I cannot program the DVD. I get Mr. P to do it for me.  We don't have Tivo because I'm not sure I could take the stress. We don't  have cable or satellite TV  because it has wayyyyyy too many channels for my fuzzy little brain. Our flat panel television is worth three times as much as my car.  If the  computer wasn't  so easy to operate (One button to turn it on and Blogger and my email pop up automatically ) I'm sure I would never have made it back here to make more than one post.

My car screams at me when something is wrong. It tells me when it needs a service. When it thinks it needs more petrol. What's going on every time I start it. The thing greets me for crying out loud. If my car is so smart why doesn't it fix itself? Drive itself to the mechanic? Self heal when something is broken by using a calming mantra? Find a cure for cancer?

Computers  are  temperamental. I spent most of Miss Pyjamas childhood worrying about diseases , got her safely to adulthood without increasing the child mortality rate and now I have to worry that my computer is going to get a virus as well. I just don't have the time to nurse a computer back to health. Sorry 'puter - you get sick - we're gonna kick you to the kerb and buy a new one. That was also the plan if we had more children by the way. All our sympathy and sick days got used up on the last one.

All of this is painfully raw for me today because I sent an hour last night  trying to work out how to get RSS feeds to my computer. Unsuccessfully. In the end I figured I've lived 43 years without them , and gave up. I excel at giving up with technology. I  have a sneaking suspicion that while I was attempting the seemingly impossible, I reset my computer settings and RSS is being secretly downloaded to a file somewhere on my computer and the first I'm going to know about it is when my 1.5 terabyte hard drive crashes because it's full.

Technology and I have an uneasy relationship. At the moment I'm calling a truce and acknowledging technology IS the boss of me, but the times they are a'changing. Just warning you technology...


Marg said...

I agree totally with typos, I learnt to type many moons ago, but I couldn't type fast and accurately if my life depended on it.
I am definitely more techno savvy than you, but only just. I like my gadgets, but I have the patience of a gnat and if it's not easy to work then it's out.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

My boys of 7 and 9 put my computer skills to shame.....I think they are born with in built chips these days aren't they??

Anonymous said...

Mrs. P, what is an RSS feed?

AnnieO said...

The thing you should know about Blogger is that they just recently put BACK the spell check; it was left out of the previous update and I missed it, I tellya, and I SPELL FOR A LIVING!! But now it highlights things yellow and doesn't unhighlight until you click and say Ignore. Annoying.

Many techno things are beyond my interest. I am with you on the not connecting to the internet with my phone. It creeps me out, (even though I logically know I am already connected via satellite just to get and make calls). I have no idea what an RSS feed is. Someone wants me to be in their "LinkedIn" circle and I'm terrified to let them because I don't know what it is. Oh, ignorance is supposed to be bliss, right?

Alisa said...

That is exactly why I married a tech geek. That and he makes a lot of money and he's kind of cute to look at.
Okay, so maybe I'm lying about the money.
But he can fix all my tech issues and with me, he has constant work.

Elizabeth said...

Remember when those CD thingies came out? How long did it take you to figure out how to open the case? I'm still working on that one, but any child over six months can run the DVD player, program the TiVo and microwave their own dinner. They're born with it. I know just enough about a computer to know not to mess with it when it starts acting all strange. And I'm one of the last few hold-outs who doesn't text or Twitter either.

vawriter said...

Good one, Miz P! I laughed throughout this post, because I recognized myself. I thought everyone younger than I was supposed to be tech-savvy. Turns out I CAN program my DVR function (that was purchased just so I don't miss American Idol, any installments of The Dog Whisperer, or my new favorite program, GLEE), which puts me ahead of you, you youngster. However, I'm not sure what RSS feed is, much less attempt to receive it, so maybe that makes it a tie? I am obsessive about typos and misspelling, and hatehatehate it when I find errors in my posts or published stuff. Also cannot turn off the Internal Editor that lives in my brain. I was bothered by a misspelled word in the projected Bible study at church this morning. Bothered to the extent that I may have missed the point of the study. Oh, well, it was probably something ridiculous, like how not to be judgemental. xxoo

Shirley said...

Just wait another 15 years. It gets worse. I can type cause I was a secretary. I can use a computer cause I learned when I was in my mid 40's. Everything else forget it. My cell (mobile) phone rings and I can answer it and I can push the buttons to call someone but that's where it ends. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and probably would if we could figure out how to use it.

Brenda said...

I think we have it kinda hard - 40 something gals who didn't have computers growing up (or cell phones, or VCR or microwaves, etc.) - but we're young enough that people think we should know how to use all of these things with no problems! (Too bad about the frypan - sounds like it's out to get you)

Shay said...

I am so glad I am not alone ! I really don;t need RSS feeds.Apparently nobody else has them anyway.

I do text ,(it takes me approximately 15 minutes to belt out an 80 character message) but don't get the point of twitter.

And the frypan IS out to get me.

And Alisa , I married the finance guy, and who do you think balances our household finances?