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Over 50

March 29, 2011 - Al Stephenson
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase "what did we do before cell phones?" Like many aging people I have uttered those words myself. I have a cell phone and use it often. I haven't figured out how to send text messages on it and the only time I take pictures with it is when I hit some button by mistake getting the thing out of my pocket. I must admit I am a little technologically challenged.

I ran across the message I'm about to share with you the other day. It is entitled Over 50 and it sums up what people like me think about all the technological advances of our time. Enjoy.

When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grandkids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I cold handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth (it's red) phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-cal-cu-lat-ing." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead. Well, it was not a good relationship.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper of Plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look. I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, "No, but I do toot a lot."

The fellow finishes by saying - "Us senior citizens don't need any more gadgets. The TV remote and the garage door remote are about all we can handle"

The view from my seat suggests that this man has put into words what most of us oldsters have been thinking for a long time. His biggest problem is that he has too many family members pushing him to become more "with it." I don't have that problem. My son Brian told me that he considered getting me a GPS system for Christmas a couple of years ago. He didn't, because as he put it, "I didn't think you would be able to figure it out!"

Thank you son.

 
 

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