The more I learn, the less I know. Partly, of course, because I am forgetting stuff (my personal hard drive is full and, apparently, not expandable) but also because I learned to ‘live’ and ‘work’ in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with a lacklustre foot dragging me into the new millennium. I haven’t kept up.
I haven’t been a real ‘keener’ on ‘what’s new’ since I was around 50. Excluding learning about off-the-grid living – it is the exceptions that justify the rationalizations – I haven’t learned a thing. “I was too busy learning how to chop wood to learn how to use a smartphone!”
I have one of those cursed smart devices now and I am slowly learning it (mostly because living in the city does not require wood chopping and the TV is the reverse of learning. It sucks your brain right out of your head. May as well play around with my phone).
I am nowhere near KNOWING my smartphone but I am learning more and more about how much I don’t know about it.
The other day a friend of mine (my age) saw me talking at my phone and telling Google to call home. I didn’t dial or punch numbers, I just spoke at the phone. She said, “Wow, you are so smart! You can make your cell phone work. I don’t use mine anymore. Makes me feel bad.”
For the record: my phone did not call home. For some reason I didn’t do it right but I was not about to admit that at that point, now was I?
“Yes, I know. They can be intimidating. Mine still intimidates me (disobeys me is more like it!). Show me yours. Maybe we can work it?”
“Oh, I never carry it anymore. If I do, people think I should be able to use it so I pretend I left it at home. I might have it at the bottom of my purse but it isn’t turned on and I forget how to even do that, too. Let me see.”
She looked in her purse and, after rummaging deep, came out with an old flip-phone. I tried turning it on but the battery was dead. I knew why. It had probably been there for well over a couple of years.
“How long have you had this phone?”
“Oh, years. Maybe ten. Longer, perhaps?”
“The battery is dead.”
“Oh? Should I get a new one?”
“Probably not. This is not a smartphone. This is the old type that was just a phone. The new ones are like command centres.”
“So, that is old technology then? And I didn’t learn it. That’s good. Thank God. So, if I get a new phone, it will be a smart phone and I won’t have to learn anything…I can just talk at it?”
“No. The learning curve on a smartphone is much more difficult than this one was. My advice is to let a few more generations of phone evolve until they put one out that you just have to talk to. At the present rate, that should be less than a few years. They may even just implant it in your head and you won’t even have to charge it up!”
“Eeeeewh! I wouldn’t want tubes and wires coming out of my head!”
“Just a matter of time, sweetie. Just a matter of time.”