Marshall: “hp 2 di w/out evr havng wkd thru spdr web”

Longtime Bainbridge journalist Becky Fox Marshall has revived her regular Bainbridge Islander column. This week, she aims to fight irrelevancy by taking on technology….

“I am proud to say,” my friend announced in the midst of a conversation about cell phones, “that I hope to die having never sent a text message.”

Wow. If I had to choose one thing I hope to never have done upon my death, I’m not sure I’d select never sending a text message. But he loathes such things.

What I loathe, besides spiders (making this time of year particularly perilous) is becoming irrelevant. I remember as a young person thinking that “old” people were nice and all, but they seemed so, so irrelevant. So disconnected. So … yesterday. Imagine not being able to figure out a TV remote?

That’s why I have made a point of getting to know my computer and a variety of applications. Why all my photos are digital and online. Why many of my conversations are via the three IM options resident on my client. Why, I finally took on the iPod and brought music back to my life.

I felt I was keeping up pretty well. I got on Facebook despite the groans from my peers (who since have joined – TOLD YA!). My children gave me accolades for being slightly ahead when graded on a curve with their peers’ parents. But with every birthday I feel more pressure to step up my game. After all, my 87-year-old former mother-in-law writes emails (most are annoying sappy forwards, but still – she’s tech savvy!) How was I to differentiate myself?

I took on the DVR, that’s what I did. In consolidating my telephone, internet and television services to save money, the nice customer service rep crunched some numbers and was excited to tell me that I was saving sooo much money that I could add a DVR and still come out ahead.

Heck yea, let’s do it, I told her. I feel behind the times and, dare I say, slightly irrelevant when people tell me how they can pause live TV, record an entire series to watch during a marathon weekend, or go out in the evening and not miss their favorite show.

I was in serious danger of saying, out loud, “Well I remember you just plugged in your television, hooked up a cable and felt pretty damn privileged to have more than four channels to choose from. Why in my parents’ day, you actually had to GET UP and cross the room to change the channel! IMAGINE the hardship of that era!”

But I caught myself, and agreed – never realizing that all I really had done was open the door to a whole new level of complexity and frustration. Four thousand channels, eight remotes, two blue lights and three instruction manuals later – it’s clearly too much. But I’m not giving up. Either is Comcast. They’re sending a fellow to the house AGAIN because after all the phone calls, furniture moving and unplugging and re-connecting, they’re stumped, too.

I’m going to master this, even if I never again watch an actual television show or find the time to watch the hours of shows I’ve recorded. That isn’t the point. The point is being able to work it.

When I learn how to make my TV and all its related equipment work, I plan to take on Skype. I’m not up to Twitter or Foursquare level yet, but I hope to get there – I can only imagine the heights of relevancy I surely will experience. I also need to figure out this FTP site I’ve been struggling with – and what constitutes an XML file and why I want RSS feeds, and the age-old question, “What does Error 404 mean, really?”

Last night I told my friend, “I hope to die without ever having walked through a spider web only to find, an hour later, a giant spider caught in my hair.” I texted it to him: “hp 2 di w/out evr havng wkd thru spdr web 2 find, hr ltr, giant spdr cot in hair. LOL. JK.” He never responded.

3 thoughts on “Marshall: “hp 2 di w/out evr havng wkd thru spdr web”

  1. Hi Becky, Welcome back! Better than ever. You set a great example; I’m way behind you, using the inertia of age and satisfaction with my familiar distractions as reasons not to adapt. No cable, so no TV; watching DVDs on my laptop, tuning in radio there too. Give me the simple life!

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