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An old dog and new tricks

By   /   February 14, 2012  /   Comments



I’m and old soul.  At least that is how my sister in law describes me.  My boat is 48 years old this year.  I still use a flip phone.  I spent part of last summer working on a 150 year old cabin, and my truck is 26 years old.  In fact, I went to the tag office last month to pay my yearly “birthday tax.”  I had to get tags for three cars and two trailers.  The total was just over $130.  The clerk told me that my cars are too old and I need to get something newer.  I told her that would just increase my tag fees!

I have often thought that you could place me at Westville or the Agrirama to live, and I would be just fine.  A friend of mine says that he has lived through the “Good Ol’ Days” when he was a boy, and warns me that they were not really all that good.  Even my father in law says that he grew up with no running water in the house.  He would have to take a bath in a Number 2 Wash Tub and use an outhouse.  It is amazing how far technology has come in the course of a lifetime.

Sometimes I think that each generation can reach a certain point where there is too much technology.  I call that technology saturation.  I remember when my grandfather decided he would go high tech and get one of the new fangled digital watches.  I was about ten years old at the time.  He liked the watch, but he couldn’t figure out how to set the darn thing.  I showed him how simple it was to press the menu button until the hour or minutes flashed and then how to press another button to increase the numbers.

My mother is the same way.  She is attracted to high technology and the ability of computers to do perform multiple functions, but she has a hard time trying to figure out how to make it do what it was designed to do.  Sometimes I can walk her through a solution.  I recently helped her to restore her email.  She was happy that she didn’t have to call India for the solution!

However, I find that even I am not immune to technology saturation.  My wife purchased a new computer for me for Christmas.  Now I can explore Windows 7 rather than using my old trusty Windows XP.  I set up the email using Outlook 2010 and I write these articles using Word 2010 now.  Microsoft Word used to be so easy to use with a few functions.  Now it seems that the options are endless.  The same goes with Outlook.  The basic program is still there, but there are far more options than Outlook 2003.  More options that I know what to do with.

My son heard me complaining about how complicated Microsoft has made these two programs.  He told me that they are so easy; and when I get a moment, he will show me how to use them.  I told him that my cell phone does not have parentheses so I cannot send emoticons like all of the hip young people do.  He told me that real men don’t send emoticons and then proceeded to take my old flip phone and pull up options for more emotion signs than I’ve ever even felt.   Suddenly I—yes ME—have become my grandfather with the digital watch and my son has become me.  I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but it certainly did.  Ahh…for the good ol’ days!

billwallerWritten by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.


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