I guess you can’t really describe a person as being “allergic” to technology, but if you could, I’d be the one wheezing and breaking out in hives at the mere whiff of an incoming tweet.
The fact is, unlike most functioning humans under the age of 112, I can’t cope with the relentless onslaught of technological “improvements” to a First World lifestyle that seemed to me to be perfectly fine the way it was.
There’s no use my investing in the latest gadget in a desperate effort to fit in. Even if I could afford it or figure out how to turn it on, I’d only drop it down the toilet or accidentally bake it into a pie or absent-mindedly leave it perched in a shoe display at John Fluevog.
It’s a shame there isn’t somebody I can sue for billions because of my technological ditzability, which I attribute to a combination of lifelong short-sightedness, physical and mental ineptitude, and a natural predilection for knee-jerk disgust. If only I could find enough company for my misery and a wealthy enterprise to blame, I could launch a class-action lawsuit against modern technology in general.
After all, those of us who buy into digital contraptions waste an incalculable amount of energy. As human beings, we’re supposed to be able to spare a thought for life’s big questions but frankly, these days, who has the time? Anyway, there’s probably an app for that.
There must be countless folk who’d, at the very least, agree with me that it’s unfair that technological “advances” are so inconsistently adopted by the companies that serve us. We don’t need to have a pocketful of ultra-complex state-of-the-art gizmos to spend our days completely confused. Just for a start, I find that trying to get the hang of which electronic teller requires the bank- card swipe and which the bank-card chip shove, and which way the card should be positioned for either, and whether I want to use the “calculate tip” function in the electronic teller, and whether I should be calculating the tip on the machine before or after the HST has been added, is enough to drive me to drink.
After the drinking, I can’t be the only one who finds herself in public washrooms madly and repeatedly sweeping her hand over toilet fixtures, under faucets and across the front of paper towel dispensers, longing for the days when you didn’t have to know jiu jitsu in order to clean yourself up. We technotards often do this hieroglyphic semaphore for quite some time before we discover that, in fact, these particular appliances aren’t powered by motion sensors, and the old school approach still works. But why should we have to stop and ask ourselves such mundane questions as “Now, how do I flush this toilet?” Why can’t we just expect the equipment in all public bathrooms to work the way it’s always worked?
The hourly bafflement and humiliation continue. Never mind the mystery of the six remote controls now required to operate a solitary TV or stereo, or the random puzzling beeps emanating from other people’s numerous plugged-in gadgets. I know I can’t be alone in my wonder at the breathtaking “efficiency” of ordering a movie ticket online, printing it up, and then having to stand in line at the movie theatre anyway in order to redeem it for a ticket I can actually use.
Please, make it stop! But technology’s march is as ceaseless as it is senseless, making things that were once no-brainers strangely forbidding for those of us who aren’t fully in the know.
I used to be able to crank open any car door or wind down its window to get some air. Now the lever and buttons are hidden, but in different configurations, depending on the vehicle. If I’m ever a passenger in your car, I’ll try not to make a fool of myself while attempting to squeak open your window and thereby escape the saccharine stranglehold of your air freshener, but it will likely be beyond me. I apologize in advance for the screaming.
It’s no wonder that at this point, I rarely leave the house. What gaffe will I commit if I’m let off my leash in the middle of the tech-savvy hordes? Will I be picked up by the police for conspicuously roaming without a GPS, or paged by my husband and summoned, blushing, to Customer Service at Save-On just because I have no cell-phone and he must add cilantro to the grocery list? Will I have an urgent call to make and discover once again that there are no public pay phones within a thousand kilometres? Or will I dash into a downtown parkade at the last minute en route to a performance and discover it’s only set up for people to pay in advance via handheld doodad?
Now I’ve heard there’s a new bit of plastic called a “Square” that you plug in to your iPhone, iPad or Android phone. It will allow you to purchase things directly from that contraption, no credit card required. This is somehow considered to be a miraculous development. I, of course, will not buy such a phone, or a Square, so my big new fear is that soon I will be met with a faceful of pity and admonition whenever I attempt to pay cash.
How absurd of me, not to be carting around at all times a metal rectangle that allows me to watch tiny movies, send notes worldwide, surf the stock market, listen to my entire music collection, get advice on wine to pair with my supper, read Moby Dick, learn to cure my ailments the naturopathic way, pay my bills and finance my restaurant lunch.
I admit that my fossilized viewpoint may well reflect my utter worthlessness as a human being. To my mind, though, if I never own such an object, I can’t ever lose one, break one, be obsessed with upgrading one, or take out my frustrations on one and chuck it savagely into a lake.
I’m just sayin’.