Reaching for the Brakes

I heard the best news recently. High-tech changes, it seems, are going to be slowing down.

Don’t ask me where I read it. I’ve already forgotten. Also, don’t ask me why the changes are going to be coming more slowly. I’ve forgotten that, too, although I do recall there was some kind of authoritative reasoning that sounded convincing to me. Sold!

The point is, I was elated/relieved/giddy. I spend half my life trying to resist turning into some kind of clueless, cranky fuddy-duddy. I want to keep up! I don’t want to be left behind! But good lord, does it all have to happen so quickly? So relentlessly?

Every time I check my computer or my iPad or my iPhone, they want to pounce on me with updates. Sometimes, I am simply not in the mood for updates. What’s so wrong with the way things were five minutes ago? Or yesterday? Who are they and why are they constantly pestering me to change (and reboot)?

Haven’t they ever heard of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Carr? (Well, of course not; who has? This is why Wikipedia was invented — so rumor mongers like me wouldn’t look like total idiots.) But, anyway, Carr is the French savant who famously opined, Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. In other words, all your updates mostly come to nothing, so why don’t you just take a nap?

I know, I know. Change is inevitable, we need to embrace it, where would we be without change, blah, blah, blah. Point well taken and all that. But can we just take a break for about a year or so so that people like me can catch up?

My daughter has told me — for years, it seems — that I need to become active on Twitter. I react sheepishly and tweet every four or five months before I become exhausted and rejoin the ranks of Twitter dropouts. What I’m secretly hoping is that the whole Twitter fad will fade and I’ll look prescient for never pursuing it in the first place.

Similarly, I continue to wait for the whole, dangerous stiletto movement to pass and am beginning to get a little impatient about being the only woman in the universe caught flatfooted on a perennial basis. So far, I don’t look prescient on this one; I only look a little short.

“High-tech changes are going to be slowing down,” I announce to my husband.

He acts disappointed — like it’s a big, horrible deal and we are all doomed to stasis and stagnation. But I happen to know (since I recently quizzed him about it) that he hasn’t added an iPhone app in ages.

I will remember that the next time he gigs me about my antediluvian habit of starting my day with two physical specimens called newspapers. Deal with it, darlin’: The more things change, the more I want The New York Times.

(Copyright 2011 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read a heated account of why I’ll never lie about my damned age

18 comments… add one
  • You made me smile with this one. I totally get it. But you forgot one thing: Facebook. Why they keep changing something that works fine is beyond me. (Latest change was removal of the option to add a link to a status report.)

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Agreed! What were they thinking?

  • I’m standing right next to you in flat shoes. Except I am not short.

  • M.K. Link

    I confess to being hopelessly old and clueless. However, the current fashion of wearing stilettos, crotch-high skintight skirts, and no pantyhose (!) looks so unappealing to me. Add to that, hair that looks like they forgot to comb it, and I think of hookers that didn’t have enough time to get redressed.

    Despite this temporary fashion, I think the generation coming of age at this time will save the world. They are wonderful kids.

  • Who knew an advantage of a stroke would be that I have a ready-made excuse for ignoring updates, twitter, my facebook status, and for sticking with my dinosaur of a phone that I use only for making and receiving . . . ta duh! . . . phone calls! Best of all, athletic shoes only as I relearn how to balance and walk. In fact, I have never seen a toddler learning to walk in stilettos, although my r granddaughter did clomp around in disney princess high heels when she was a toddler, and still does.

  • Terry Link

    AMEN!!! Still take the newspaper as well…although I am just jealous that I can’t pull off the stiletos anymore…:(

  • When PCs were first introduced into homes (ours, anyway), I got a subscription to PC Magazine and kept up on all of the latest and greatest. Now days, I’m lucky if I keep up on my email. Great post!

  • Right on! “What’s so wrong with the way things were five minutes ago?” I keep thinking, if my computer is hopelessly ancient when it is four years old…what does that make me?

  • Cindy A Link

    I’m with you, Ruth, but that’s not necessarily a good thing!

  • I can’t even get my iPhone to do updates on apps. Apparently there are so many updates needed that it somehow times out before it does them and it gets mad if I’m not connected to wifi for some of them. I don’t really need my Scrabble app updated though.

  • I second that Cinda–both sentiments.

  • Well, I could use some time to catch up … and for the record, us mountain girls in the stix don’t have smart phones or iPads. We’re lucky to have high-speed Internet.

  • Sheryl Link

    I’m so with you on this. It’s not even worth it to learn the new stuff, because as soon as you do, it’s old and there’s a new version to learn. And so on.

  • I’m slow to adapt by nature and miss quaint, old-fashioned things like interacting with a bank teller to get your cash versus sticking a piece of plastic in a hole-in-the-wall. But I have to tell you, Ruth, I was a Twitter sniffer too — but I find it a wonderful research tool as a reporter. Facebook, not so much. As for Stumble Upon: Still havenn’t figured that one out. And don’t get me started on Google +.

  • Merr Link

    There are some advances I like but not when I’m bombarded with others that kind of make it difficult to know which advance is the most important advance and that I “should” be getting smart about!

  • I really don’t think stilettos are in style. Just among certain people. But Mary Janes are just as in style.

  • Though I’m very big on Twitter and have been for a couple of years now, I maintain a very basic cell phone so that I’m not continually inundated with email and updates. I like to choose when, where and how often I’m connected rather than have a 24-hour connection. I’d find it way too distracting.

  • I wouldn’t want advances to STOP, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of a breather either. WHEW!

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