Neither a *Luddite Nor a Techie

My mother always proudly said that she was a *Luddite and wanted nothing to do with modern technology. She and Dad had a regular land line phone, and each of them grudgingly got flip-phones. But that’s as much technology as they could stand. Mom would often call me to look something up on my “damn computer” for her. This way she could get the information she needed without touching a computer. (Well played, Mom!)

I think of her right now since a dear old friend of mine drove all the way up to Exeter from Webster, MA to show me how to get into Facebook. Honestly, I never thought that I would want that in my life, but after a day and a half I have to admit it’s pretty neat. I religiously wrote down everything my friend told me, and behold and lo—I actually am getting used to it! I still can’t figure out how to get my pictures from my phone to put on Facebook (I would just love to brag about my trip to Hawaii this past spring!), though.

Last Christmas my wonderful step-daughter had gifted the Crankee Yankee and I with a “Skylight.” She recently showed us how to use it (surprisingly, not a big deal—we were just too embarrassed to tell her that we couldn’t **figure it out on our own!). It’s pretty neat: once you upload the pictures from your phone (where all my nice Hawaii pictures are), you can add them into the Skylight and hang it up. It becomes a screen that runs the pictures one by one. Pretty cool, huh?

So, now I’m guessing that I can do the same thing on my computer; hook it up with my phone pictures or somehow sucking them out of the Skylight. You see what an idiot I am. And here’s the funny part: the Skylight had a perfectly clear technical manual that explained everything, but did we read it? Nooooo. Funnier still is the fact that I made my living as a technical writer and wrote manuals for years. But let me get a new doo-dad, and will I read the manual? Nope.

So I inch along in technology, much like that turtle on TV who likes the old ways and ends the commercial with “not my thing.” However, I do need to make it a “thing” for me so that 1) I am not always lugging the computer to the tech gods for them to figure out what kind of booberry I did with it, or 2) trying to figure out what I should have done (which gives me a massive headache), or 3) just shutting the damn thing down and let it go until morning.

So there you have it; I am neither Luddite nor a Techie. Let’s just call it “OPT” (Old People Technology).





*From Merriam Webster: Luddites could be considered the first victims of corporate downsizing. The Luddite movement began in the vicinity of Nottingham, England, toward the end of 1811 when textile mill workers rioted for the destruction of the new machinery that was slowly replacing them. Their name is of uncertain origin, but it may be connected to a (probably mythical) person known as Ned Ludd. According to an unsubstantiated account in George Pellew’s Life of Lord Sidmouth (1847), Ned Ludd was a Leicestershire villager of the late 1700s who, in a fit of insane rage, rushed into a stocking weaver’s house and destroyed his equipment. From then on, his name was proverbially connected with the destruction of machinery. With the onset of the information age, Luddite gained a broader sense describing anyone who shuns new technology.


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