I’ve spent the past two days trying to update the look of this blog, scanning through endless computer screens of information about sharing, plug-ins, widgets, Gravatars, child-themes and lots of other terms I’ve never heard of before. While I did manage to add an archive sidebar (that’s a “widget,” who would have thought?) to make past posts more accessible, somehow I also put my Gravatar profile on my “about me” page and couldn’t figure out how to get it back off. And when I finally did figure it out, it also removed the photo I had so carefully uploaded (I was wearing big, dark sunglasses, of course) as well. So, I’m taking a temporary break from the struggle to do what I actually understand and enjoy when it comes to blogging: just writing the posts.
I don’t really know when all my troubles with technology started. I was still working when computers began to make their way into offices, and I don’t remember having any problems learning to use them. At the time, I was working in development, generating donor profiles. And since the profiles constantly needed to be updated, I really appreciated how much easier computers made my job. Later, as an at-home mom and free-lance writer, I was thrilled to get my first computer since it made writing and editing so much easier. No more “whiting out” mistakes and trying to find a new word exactly the same size as the whited-out word so I didn’t have to retype the whole page!
Maybe I started resenting technology the first time my computer “lost” a carefully written article. Or when I had to ask one of my kids to show me how to answer my new phone. Or the first time I tried to text (in the days before phones had keyboards, and you had to use the phone’s number buttons to punch in the letters.) I have learned how to use google to find a quick answer to an obscure question, I understand the concept of wi-fi, and I’ve managed to start a blog. But I’m still not half as tech savvy as my son or daughter. And I strongly suspect that the average 8-year old has much better tech skills than I do.
And that’s so unfair. One of the few advantages of growing older is supposed to be gaining wisdom. Wisdom that you can then pass down to younger generations, who are supposed to appreciate it and respect you for your great knowledge. But that doesn’t happen when you have to text your daughter while she’s at work to ask her how to turn the sound on your phone back on. Technology may have brought many gifts, but it has also brought one very depressing thing: the ability to seem both old and clueless at the same time.
So I struggle on, in the hope that someday I will master enough tech skills to feel that I am indeed wise. Meanwhile, I have to find what happened to that profile picture. And how to change that ugly orange and brown header to a nice shade of blue. I’ll let you know how it goes….