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Diary of a Digital Dinosaur

How I'm owning my electronic obsolescence...even embracing it.

It's the holiday season. (Did you know that? ha) This means all the latest and greatest gadgets and wireless tools and smart appliances are center stage, which means the spotlight also shines brightly on my selective interest and access to them. (Anyone else get a Christmas Wish List from a youthful relative and not have a clue what the items were??) According to an article or two in recent Wall Street Journals, not only am I NOT COOL, apparently I am also a mockery.

What's even funnier (or sadder?) is that one of the articles explained how I am dating myself by posting long web addresses in their complete form (like the one above).

How do I feel about it? Hmmmm.

I consider myself fairly tech-savvy, and more than fairly computer savvy (real or perceived). I've been on a Mac since the early 1990's and we speak each other's languages pretty well. Newer Apple products (which get newer and newer all the time) are comfortably transitioned in my life (it's all relative) because I've internalized their basic platform and protocols (even though my iPhone is usually two versions behind).

That said, as I read the articles (which were clearly written solely to convict and peer pressure me), I actually felt a little defensive! Hey...I resemble that remark!!! So I'm digging in my heels and holding on to a few things, not to keep Tim Cook from taking over my life like Orwell's 1984, but because I like it better this way.

Things I'm Keeping (until I'm forced to move on)

1) Wired Headphones - even though I now have to use the Apple adapter to fit the connection on my phone, the purple earphones I bought at a fundraiser because the company gave a portion of their proceeds to the charity stay in my ears because they are the most comfortable. That's really it. No other airphones or airpods or airline freebies fit, even with the silicone covers in my choice of color, which I keep losing.

2) Printed Magazines & Newspapers - yes, the WSJ I mentioned above was delivered in hard copy to my doorstep. I'm on this computer all day already, and I also like flipping the paper pages of Southern Living or Real Simple (often from back to front). I consider it a break from the screen.

3) Hard Credit Cards - I actually don't have that many, but I don't want the numbers stored in my Apple Wallet. I just don't. It's not that big of a deal to pull one out to pay for stuff (I would actually use cash if anyone was still taking it). I don't want to keep my phone in my hand 100% of the time and I don't want to risk the wireless not working or fumbling with it with a line of customers behind me. I also just got trained to use the chip, so that's fine too, until they force me to tap.

4) My Phone Passcode - Call me paranoid, but I am not ready for Face ID in any way, shape, or form. It kind of creeps me out. Please don't judge.

Things I Miss

1) Paper Tickets - Remember when you'd get the big package in the mail of the whole season of football/symphony/Broadway shows in a big, fun envelope? And each one was a little piece of art? And if you wanted to give them to a friend or sell them you just passed them along (with or without the cash exchange)? And you didn't miss kickoff because the scanner wasn't working at the gate?

2) Snail Mail - Who doesn't still love to get a birthday card with an actual stamp or hand-written thank you note in the mail? When was the last time it happened to you...from someone who was a Millennial or younger? This does not include Mailbox Values, solicitations for cash purchase of the home I sold 2 years ago, or credit card offers. Shout out to my 92-year-old Aunt Shirlee who sends me a note on beautiful stationery regularly, and I actually save them.

Things I Live With (but could live without)

1) FaceTime & Zoom - Do I need to explain?

2) Nest Digital Thermostat - In our house, this is a "boy thing." My husband loves to change the temperature from the car before we get home, check its stats on Google, and update the app on his phone when something new is released (or not). I just want it to be warm when I'm cold and cool when I'm hot.

3) Apple Watch - Don't get me wrong...I do like seeing the temperature in real time and the time (including seasonal changes) in real time. But I really don't need to see every text and call...or respond to every text and call...on my watch. Or see every photo or every email on the watch, in addition to the phone, in addition to the computer. I know I'm in the minority, and I'm OK with it. (I do, however, love to see my step count and heart rate! Trade off??)

It's OK...until it's not

Regardless of where you find yourself on the Tech Spectrum (by will or force), I do recommend one thing. Read George Orwell's iconic book 1984.

Then call me. That's the thing where you dial some numbers into your phone and someone answers in their actual voice. ;)


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