Do I Belong here?

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I’m not sure I belong in this world. It’s either sped up, or I’ve slowed down. One thing I do know for sure, though, is that I’m a bit out of touch compared to where I was 15-20 years ago.

It seems I haven’t kept up with the happenings around me. More than likely, though, is that the world has not waited for me. It just zoomed along at it’s chosen speed while I crept along at mine.

Let me tell you about what has me all discombobulated.

I purchased a new phone the other day. I stayed with the same manufacturer, thinking that the learning curve would be easier, and hopefully, shorter. How wrong I was with that thinking.

This new phone has reminded me that technology has left me behind. I seem to have forgotten what it was like when I purchased a new computer, but that was several years ago and I’ve been told that time heals all (it helps you forget a lot too, just not the things you want to forget, though). This new “smart” phone has brought it all back into focus.

BuzzardsWhen I was a younger man it would have been nothing for me to pick up a new device and within a few minutes (an hour at the most) I would have felt comfortable fining my way around and through the software and hardware. I now realize that I am not the man I once was (sometimes, though, I can be the man I once was—occasionally twice, but that results in several days of rest afterward), so I traveled what I thought was the route of least resistance.

I analyzed what my cellphone usage is like, and what I might need to stay on track. I realized that I do not need a top of the line phone. I use the device for making calls (imagine that), texting (some people don’t like talking on the phone), researching ideas on the internet (infrequently), and taking photos now and then (this camera is one of my issues). So, I went with a middle of the road device from the same manufacturer as my last two phones.

Once I got home I realized that my thinking was flawed. I had been thinking that everything would be just like it was, right out of the box. Something I forgot to take into account is the fact that hardware and software change faster than most of us purchase new shoes. The manufacturer (in this case Motorola) just couldn’t leave well enough alone. They moved buttons, hid files and folders where files and folders are not supposed to be (my ancient thinking), and created apps that are so much more complicated than their predecessors. Who would have thought that someone, somewhere, would create something, at least in their mind, that would be better than that which it replaced? Did they even consider some old man might be pulling out what little hair he has left trying to figure out something he thought he already knew?

It’s taken me a few days, but I now believe I have the settings on my new phone the way I like them—the way I’m used to them being, or close to it. But, the camera…the camera is a different story. It’s got more settings than my old Olympus SLR had. I’m still a couple of days away from understanding what it all does.

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Here’s what I’ve come to realize about getting older:

  • I need a four year old to take the cap off my bottle of medication for me
  • A six year old to show be how to operate my phone
  • A ten year old to show me how to operate my computer
  • A sixteen year old to show me what all the gadgets are for in a new car

I long for the days of my youth. When the phone was on the wall in the kitchen. If it rang, you answered it. If it didn’t, you went about your business until it did. If you wanted to see what was going on in the world, you waited for the newspaper to be delivered by the paperboy who lived just down the street. Or, you turned on the tv to one of three channels and watched the nightly news at dinnertime, or you waited until the late night edition, which came on just before the channel signed off the air for the night.

I’ve now come to the conclusion that I am going to have to move someplace far away from cities and civilization, and the technology the civilized masses so desire just so I can stay sane. Maybe I’ll move to the desert and bake in the sun until I can’t bake anymore. Or, maybe I’ll find a nice mountain top somewhere and live in a cave. Nah. I like the idea of the desert better. Like Yogi Berra once said, “Just hit it where they ain’t.” So, now I’m going to find a place where they ain’t and increase my batting average in this ballgame of life. Just one extra dinger a week is all I need.

I suppose you’ve figured it out by now. I’m getting old and the world is speeding by, and at this point I can only watch. I’ve become too old to join the techno-masses, or maybe too lazy. It could be that I’ve just become too slow to keep up. In either case, I’ve come to the realization that I like the slower pace of my youth over the more quicker pace that society has adopted.

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Oh, to be young again. Actually, I kind of like being older than those around me. For the most part, the kids like helping the oldster I have become. All I have to do is act like I’m lost (the acting part is becoming less and less) and they’re quite willing to assist. As long as that assistance doesn’t require any hard work, that is.

I haven’t gotten to the point yet where some teenager is trying to help me across the street, but the time’s coming. I can feel it creeping up on me every morning when I roll out of bed and hobble to the coffee pot. Maybe I should just put the coffee pot on my nightstand so that I can delay greeting the day until after the first jolt of caffeine hits my deteriorating gray matter. Something to think about. Right after my nap.

Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.

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