We truly live in an incredible age, where technology is involved in so much of our daily lives. So many things in your house, from your toaster to your clock radio is, in reality, a little computer. Alexis plays your music and orders your toilet paper, Siri sets your appointments and plots your travel plans, and in that little phone in your pocket or purse, you have more computing power at your disposal than the Apollo missions that landed on the moon! For folks our kids, and certainly our grandkids’ age, it is totally normal, but for those of us, who grew up in the 50s and 60s, it is far beyond anything we could have imagined, even with the aide of The Jetsons, Jules Vern or H.G. Wells!
But, for some, the technology that we encounter in our everyday life, is above and beyond what they can handle. Let’s take cars for example. Our 3 year old Honda CR-V is truly a thinking car, braking if we don’t, watching the speed of others on the road when we use the cruise control, and making sure we stay within the lines on the roadway. Through the use of various computers, cameras, and radar devices, the car warns us if someone is in our blind spot, or if someone is approaching as we back out of a parking space. It’s just amazing what the car can do by itself, and although not by any means is it a “self driving” car, it certainly goes a long way towards that! But, you’ve got to wonder how may folks have learned about the car, and what they have to do to take full advantage of all these marvelous tools.
Let’s take a simple example…talking on the cell phone in your car. I don’t know exactly how long BlueTooth technology has been built into factory car radios, but I do know that the first one in our life that had it was our 2013 Hyundai Sonata. We got that car in March of 2013, so for our family, being able to talk hands free on your cell phone in our car has been a real thing for over 8 years. With all the newer cars on the road, one would expect that the instances of seeing someone with their cell phone to their ear while they drive down the road would be very small. Unfortunately, it is not, as whenever we are out and about in the car, we still see many folks with their phone in their hand.
So I guess the question to ask is, HOW COME PEOPLE AREN’T USING THEIR CAR’S BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE AND RECEIVE PHONE CALLS? The simple answer is that, in many cases, it’s too much trouble or too complicated to set up their cell phone with the car’s audio system. That may seem like a lame excuse, but if you’re of a certain age, you will clearly remember how many folks owned VCRs on which the clock display was flashing, denoting that they’d never set the clock. While that magic VCR could record shows at preset times on preset channels, many never were able to use that option, because of their perceived lack of technical knowledge. It really wasn’t that hard to set the clock, but like pairing your cell phone with the car’s radio, it intimidated them! Many people are intimidated by technology!
As time goes by, younger generations of folks will grow up with more and more technology, and everything will be so second nature to them, that technology will be an old friend. Our 2 year old Granddaughter has no trouble finding the video she wants to watch on her Mom or Dad’s I-phone…do you think she will have any problem pairing her phone to the car radio when she starts to drive? But for those of us who grew up when “technology” was a Polaroid photo that developed in a minute, or a new fangled digital calculator, getting used to some of these technological advances can be a challenge. For Susie and me, who grew up with typewriters, we often times find that when you use a word processor program like Pages that I am writing this blog with, we can look at the words on the screen multiple times, but never see the misspellings or punctuation errors till we look at a hard copy we’ve printed out! I’ve got to assign that to a problem with new technology just being different than what we grew up knowing!
If you want to know, here’s the incident that prompted this blog. Last week, Susie and I went out to dinner and Susie forgot her cell phone at home. When we got back, she found a message from one of our neighbors around the corner, asking if Susie could help her with something. She wrote back and apologized for answering so late, but explained she’d left her phone at home. The next morning I asked if she’d heard back from our neighbor Sue. She said, “I don’t know…let me check,” only to discover when she opened Messenger that although she’d typed out the reply, she’d never hit send! Do you think even our 7 year old Granddaughter would do that? Sorry, but we didn’t grow up with Smart Phones, and as much as we welcome technology into our lives, we can’t always guarantee we’re 100% in sync with it! So there!