Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Technology for grown-ups
Don't let the title fool you, this is not a technology masterclass. Though, I can tell you it was the iPhone's fifth birthday yesterday. No, I'm a Luddite, the world's crappiest computer-user. Wikipedia says that technophobia is an irrational fear or dislike of advanced technology - but I'm not afraid, well apart from having a video close-up of my wrinkly face beamed across the world on Skype - I guess I'm just stubborn and lazy. I haven't got the time or the inclination to read through the instruction handbook. More of a silver slacker than a silver surfer. And everyone knows YouTube is the font of all knowledge, anyway.
So, Manhattan Brother has recently moved over to Mac. He calls to tell me to prepare for some Face Time, or was it Skype? Is it possible to do both at once? Kind of like stereo. Or a scene from Videodrome? Anyhow, I check all the settings on my phone ready to go face-to-face, fortunately I'm at a friend's house and she has a wireless network so we think we've got it covered. In New York, Wi-Fi is like oxygen, as Manhattan Brother reminds me every time he visits and ends up trawling the streets like an internet-junkie looking for his next connection. I may have carried on drinking the caffeine and cava this month, but 2012 is the year Wi-Fi will be installed at That's Not My Age Mansions. Anyhow. Back to Face Time. Now that my friend has found a magnifying glass to read the tiny Wi-Fi code on the box there's more frantic texting. But no video call. Manhattan Brother reminds me about the code, I text it to him. And wait. Nothing. In the end I pick up the phone and have a good, old-fashioned, trans-Atlantic telephone conversation, adding, ' Oh and by the way, I knew you couldn't log on from 5000 miles away. Honest.'
Technology doesn't always make life easier, as Joanna Lumley told the Mail this weekend. Lumley says she keeps her mobile phone switched off, would never join a social networking site and prefers to use pen and paper.
Tell me, how do you feel about technology? And now I'm off to make friends with someone who subscribes to WIRED.