Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Almost But Not Quite

Mailbox, Slightly Askew - Diggs, VA, December 2010

My father, bless his heart, is not exactly on the cutting edge of technology, although he does have a cell phone and knows how to use it.  (Except not for texting.)

My dear mother has a cell phone which is always turned off and most of the time located on the middle shelf of her china cabinet. This cell phone is for emergencies only, as in only if the emergency happens to her in the china cabinet area.

The inability to embrace technology in this family (myself included) comes from age an extremely limited exposure to anything invented after the VCR CD DVD player.

Change is not something people around here welcome with open arms, in case yesterday's post about traveling to the post office rather than enjoying free home delivery is not example enough. 

Also, I would probably still be climbing up a telephone pole to make a call on dial-up internet right now, here in the 21st century, if a lightning bolt hadn't taken out my modem, but this is not about my inability to understand embrace technology, it's about my father and his willingness to keep up with technology - on his own terms. 

All these rapid technological advances can be confusing, especially for someone who really doesn't use a computer and to this day has no answering machine or voice mail system hooked up to the land line gets by just fine without it.

This confusion, paired with a sincere attempt to keep up with everything, has produced some new words used almost daily by the Chesapeake Bay Family, all courtesy of my father:

Flaptop = My father's word for laptop.

Spacebook = Facebook or My Space or whatever.

Yesterday after work, I received a text from my son, the 15-year-old Technical Guru in this family. Without him I would not know what an ipod was and would not be addicted to Angry Birds.

My parents were picking him up from high school.  My daughter's basketball game had been cancelled due to the wintry weather, but since I was at work I didn't know any of this until I received the following text message on my cell phone:

"Hey, Chesapeake Bay Daughter doesn't have a game, but she has practice that ends at 5.  Grandaddy told me to send you a fax to let you know.  (He meant text.)"

Indeed he did.

And indeed I laughed.

Are we the only ones or are there others out there struggling to keep up with the pace of technological advances up to and including the fax machine i-pods netbooks  Netflix i-phones?


Kay L. Davies said...

I love my iMac all to bits. I love my netbook, too, and my eBook reader.
And I have a cell phone. It is seldom on when I'm home, but usually on when I'm out.
I don't, however, text anyone. I phoned my cell phone provider and told them I don't want text messages. I told them not to allow text messages on my phone. So now I only get text messages from - my cell phone provider!!!!
I have an answering machine for my landline because it is much cheaper than voicemail.
I would like to have caller ID, but it only comes in a "bundle" with call-waiting, which I do NOT want. I hate hearing, "Hang on, gotta get the other line" so I don't want to do that to anyone else.
And I know what's going to happen when I go to my hometown on the BC coast near the US border next month to visit family...
I will get a text message from my cell phone provider saying "Welcome to the US" even though I am in Canada, because my phone thinks the nearest tower is the one across the bay, in Washington State. THEN the silly provider-persons make me PAY for text messages from THEM.
There, CBW, that's my rant on that subject. TTFN*
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

*British/Canadian expression, ta ta for now.

Occasional Kate said...

Oh man... last spring my dad was complaining about how his house phone was dying, and I just shook my head since I knew the phone in question was the original cordless phone I bought for my own room over 15 years ago. So I went online and ordered him the same multi set phone we have. I'm 99% sure he only hooked up the one handset as he still doesn't pick up the phone until the third or fourth ring!

Ann Marie said...

your other boyfriend refuses to learn to text.. I think cause he can't really read the screen anymore but he says those text message things are stupid....

I have to agree with him....

I will show you some of them on my phone and you will agree too..

I will be willing to throw out my phone in exchange for an iPad.

Lynne M said...

I got my first home computer (which is a "flaptop") just about 1 1/2 years ago. But since then, I have gone in fast forward and I now also have a Droid which is too cool.. so what if I only know how to work certain parts of it. I do have to say, however, that my husband got a blue ray player for Christmas, and I have no earthly clue how to turn it on, let alone work it.. too many remote controls in the house now. Oh, and we got rid of the land line a few years back.

PS -- my parents have one cell phone, and it is always turned off, because it for "emergencies", meaning THEIR emergencies. If for some reason me or my brother have an emergency when they are out, OH WELL!! haha

AverettLadyNana said...

You mother sounds like my husband...he has cell phone from WAY BACK pays $15 a month for it. One minute incoming free 30 cents additional minutes and 30 cents out going calls. He keeps his either in his truck or on cabinets/bookshelves that doesn't hold books but decoys/firetrucks/old bottles...his stuff.

And like your Daddy's fax... he's always telling me to send a message and doesn't understand why I don't get a rely within seconds from the person I sent the message too. He did do Faxes before he retired so that technology he understands...but not the rest...

Daryl said...

My parents had a cell phone which they kept LOCKED in the glove compartment of their car .. LOCKED in the glove compartment .. and the key? It was on the same key ring that they kept the ignition key .... after Dad passed I made Mom keep the cell phone in her purse but later learned she kept in a dresser drawer .. of course she never charged it either ... My husband refuses to get a cell phone because he doesnt need one (of course he also believes you only need one pair of shoes because you can only wear one pair at a time) ... GAH what is with these people?

Me, I am Ms Techie, love all the new gadgets and want them the nano second they are for sale .. and texting? I didnt think I could but I do it and use only my right thumb .. sigh, us lefties are weird.

Mental P Mama said...

Angry Birds? Do I need this? Sign up for Words With Friends!!!

Deltaville Jamie said...

My children are addicted to Angry Birds. They refer to the pigs as boogers. There is no denying they are my children.

I like new techy stuff but I'm not quick to go buy it. I do want an iPad though

WV: OXOEX- oh HELL no! I am not going to oxo my ex no way

Trisha said...

So much fun when technology meets people who have no idea what it is! No, your family isn't alone in the technology avoidance. In fact, Hubby and I only have pre-paid cell phones - for emergencies. Mine is sometimes even turned on!

deborah said...

In this family, we all have cell phones,no land lines now. My husband sleeps with his droid laying on the table next to him. Since I only use mine for email (since I haven't figured out how to access it on my 'flaptop') I have to search for my phone every morning. I wouldn't mind it if it didn't take forever to learn all about something, just in time to exchange it for a newer model.
But, I wouldn't mind having an eBook reader. There is one on my phone, but I like to see the words that I'm trying to read:) Nah, I'm not a techie:) I don't like call waiting either, I think that is the rudest thing ever invented for the phone.

Annie said...

am finding the technology very handy and glad I am being kept up tp date by my family!
always handy while awake in the night in a power outage because of the floods here
the river is expected to peak in a couple of hours time, at slightly lower levels than expected.
will be seeking friends with power again in the morning for more re-charging. We can't travel very far, roads cut around this suburb.Very good community spirit.
prayers for the authorities who are working around the clock evacuating people.terrible tragedies here in Queensland unfolded this last week, and over the last month of extensive flooding.
good to have the rain stopped for a time.

Country Girl said...

I would say I'm more similar to you, as far as embracing technology. I use a flaptop (hilarious, btw) at home and can open up photos in Photoshop and work on them, and download actions and all sorts of nifty stuff. I often have to google how to do things (I am in love with google). I do text. And I only fax when I'm at work. * snort *
Must look up Angry Birds now.

judi said...

no land line, cell only and everyone has a speed dial #. and an assigned ring tone. No texting, my thumbs don't like it.. arthritis flares. no flat top... I'm tone deaf anyway.
My brother is in the 20th century. snail mail and the same phone # he has had for over 40 years. He even has a phonograph that works. He has a two season wardrobe, shorts,tank tops, sandals for summer and jeans, flannel shirts and boots for winter.
All this time I thought we were eccentric....

Linda said...

I no longer have any of my granparents but once when I was maybe 12 and wearing my long hair in two pigtails, my Grandpa asked me "Do the boys at school dip your ponytail in the ink well?" I said no but I thought "Um no Gramps. We have ink PENS now:)"

~Ashley~ said...

I text a lot and I think I'm going to adopt "fax" as the new text. Love it! I love your dad's terminology.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Well, we are kind of hi-tech city, but that's mainly because of Mr F's job. We have iMacs, iPads, iPods, iPhones... hey, I even have an iRon. I do love the iPad, though. Way better than the Sony eReader I had before.

We do still have a VHS player though... but have also (now) got a 'wivvi-dee'. That would be a dvd player, apparently.

But in my defense, I prefer to cook on an old fashioned range, make my own bread, yoghurt, all that stuff.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

My ability to embrace technology at home is actually limited by our DSL bandwidth. We can't have one kid doing online gaming and another one streaming a movie without the third one of us being unable to VPN in to work or connect via wireless with our iTouch. (Seriously, I can't believe I'm writing this, but it's true.)

There are so many things I fret over and have to decide in my role as Chief Technology Officer of our household that I file under "stuff my parents never had to consider."

I think you're ahead of the curve, though, if you manage this blog with apparent success. And if you're not, then, you have me fooled.

(Well, you don't have me fooled; I was the one who had to show you how to work the touch pad on my flaptop. Remember? I have pictures!)

Rocket Man said...

I use my cell for...well, a phone and sometimes an alarm clock although I do sign in to Face Book from time to time when I'm away from my laptop. My wife uses her cell for a counterweight in her purse but she has been known to turn it on at times and actually place a call but she never answers one...because her phone is usually turned off. Our youngest totes more electronics around in her purse than we had in our entire house when I was her age. I wouldn't be surprised if she took the dog out and had him wired for Wi-Fi one day. Poor Buddy!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I would just love to watch a movie without interuption!