I was talking on skype today to my sister who’s about 10 years older than I. There are any number of things in her life that she’s have trouble dealing with, one of them being bureaucracy. At her advanced age, she has to have more and more of these sorts of bureaucratic transactions, with health funds and inconvenient government departments.
I’m willing to listen to her complaints up to a certain point because I imagine myself in her place. She will soon be 79 years old, and while she is mentally competent, she is technologically way behind.
Presented with phone ‘menus’ where she might make the wrong choice about whom to talk to or end up in a queue for 15-30 minutes or worse lose the connection and have to start over, she becomes angry or defeated. She doesn’t have a computer, so there’s no internet banking or on-line shopping or email, transactions that are supposed to make our lives more convenient.
I’m not a techno whiz by any stretch of the imagination. My clever husband has held my hand and led me through the broadbands and bandwidths of the computer world until I’ve been ready to get off my training wheels.
One thing this machine has taught me is that it doesn’t work to get mad at it. Dare I say that I’ve learned that frustration and temper tantrums are symptomatic of deeper feelings of powerlessness.
I’m afraid sometimes that I won’t be able to keep up with technology, that I will end up on the top shelf, past my use-by date like my 5 year old computer.
On the other hand, I could end up with more time to walk on the beach, do some gardening, or pay you a visit.