My mother used to proudly say (to anyone who would listen) that she was a staunch *Luddite. According to the Urban Dictionary, a Luddite is “one who fears technology (or new technology, as they seem pleased with how things currently are…why can’t everything just be the same?)
A group led by Mr. Ned Luddite during the industrial revolution believed that machines would cause workers’ wages to be decreased and ended up burning a number of factories in protest.
A Luddite generally claims things were “just fine” back in the day, and refuses to replace/update failing equipment/software/computers on the basis that they were just fine 10 years ago.”
However, anything Mom wanted to know in a hurry meant that she called me to look it up on my computer….
But these days I find myself leaning dangerously close to the Luddite direction. When forced to replace our computer, our new one came with Windows 10, which I immediately hated. Fortunately, one of our neighbors is a computer wiz. He has become our go-to computer fix-it man, and he is worth every penny. He taught us how to live with Windows 10 without fear or despair.
I have always been on the fence about computers, but realize how handy they can be. Thanks to computers, I can post each day on this blog, and I’m grateful. Emails are quick and easy, and I have zillions of pictures stored that I can access any time.
BUT I ran right up against the ubiquitous stone wall yesterday regarding technology. I was having lunch at a popular chain restaurant that I like. A while ago I noticed that they were putting what I call “table computers” on every table; you can pay with them so that the waitstaff don’t have to do all that pesky running your card up to the register and so on. Also there are games you can play on them if you are so inclined.
I have always ignored them until yesterday. As I handed my very nice waitress my card, she told me that I could simply run the card myself on the good old table computer. I told her that I preferred the ‘regular way’ of paying.
She said that management was “encouraging” them to have customers use the table computer. With that, she showed me how to use it and asked if I would like to have a printed receipt or have one emailed to me. I told her that I would like a printed copy. While she took care of that, I tried to type in my email address just to see how easy it could be.
Well, it wasn’t. For one thing, my email address requires a “@” and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to put one in as there seemed to be no option on the screen. And yes, this one little detail drove me nuts AND ticked me off.
I did not take this out on my waitress, but I did send a testy note to the corporate office. It seems to me that the customer’s satisfaction ought to come ahead of “encouraging” folks to use the dang table computer.
How ironic that apparently I am turning into my mother……
*Supposedly, Ludd was a weaver from Anstey, near Leicester, England. In 1779, either after being whipped for idleness, or after being taunted by local youths, he smashed two knitting frames in what was described as a “fit of passion”.
By 1812, organized frame-breakers became known as Luddites, using the name King Ludd or Captain Ludd for their mythical leader. Letters and proclamations were signed by “Ned Ludd”.
In popular culture
- The character of Ned Ludd is commemorated in the folk ballad “General Ludd’s Triumph.” Chumbawamba recorded a version of this song on their 2003 release, English Rebel Songs 1381–1984.
- Robert Calvert wrote and recorded another song “Ned Ludd,” which appeared on his 1985 album Freq; which includes the lyrics:
“They said Ned Ludd was an idiot boy
That all he could do was wreck and destroy, and
He turned to his workmates and said: Death to Machines
They tread on our future and they stamp on our dreams.”