My Amish Ways, or the Last of the Technikans

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 I admit it.  I am always one of the last of the converts when it comes to technology. 

When CDs first came out, I remember my friends raving about how great they sounded.  Or how one can skip from one song to the next without waiting on the cassette to go forward or backward to the next song.  But oh no.  I didn’t want to give up my cassettes.  For one thing, as a notorious music lover and collector of tunes I had a serious amount of tapes I had amassed over the years.  I even had my own mixes that I put together and gave to buddies of mine who wanted to,  ummm let’s just say have something romantic to listen to with their girlfriends or wives.  If I switch to CDs, what would I do with all of these tapes?  And damn I can get Ice Cube’s new tape for $11.99 but the CD is like $18.99!  When CDs first came out, that was what they were costing off the top.  Puuleeeese! 

Then I bought my first CD player.  It was a single Sony model that I hooked up next to my double cassette high fi model.  It was a whole new world.  After hearing the sound that was the most crisp I had ever experienced, I went to the music store and bought almost $300 worth of music.  The first order was to buy music I heard growing up, and then get the ones to match the best of what I had on tape.  I now have thousands of CDs from Miles Davis to Boney James, from Stevie Wonder to Dan Fogelberg, Pat Benatar and everything in between.  I had it made right?

Nope!  Then they came out with MP3 players.  It took quite a while but eventually someone gave me an Ipod and between pod-casting the Jim Rome show and downloading much of my personal music collection, along with music from the library that I didn’t have to buy, I have over 12,000 songs at the touch of my fingers.  This must be heaven!

One would think I would learn my lesson and  get with the times quicker.  Most of my adult life has been spent working in areas where technology was the way we got the job done.  And new system upgrades were the norm.  But I’m still slow to personal technology change. 

I won’t even get into DVDs.  I have plenty of them but only after I amassed hundreds of VHS tapes full of old basketball games, movies and PBS documentaries. 

When I really think about it though,  I’ve learned that there are two reasons for my slow progression in embracing these helpful and often better tools.  First, I am just a person who is slow to change.  I can get set in my ways and set in the comfort of my habits.  Once I learn a thing and can operate it well, I don’t like changing it.  The second reason is that I am afraid of the technology.  I don’t feel confident that I can pick it up quickly. 

I am reminded of how people created these myspace pages years ago.  I heard about them over and over but just refused to mess with it.  I was afraid that I could not navigate through it proficiently.  By the time I got around to it, it was all but outdated.  My boy Rich for instance was already doing a blog.  I recall leaving a comment on one of his blogger friends blog, and I left my myspace page link.  She commented back to me,  “Man, your still on myspace?  You need to get a blog.” 

Sigh… dang!  I must be 5 years behind on everything!

Rich tried to show me the blogging ropes.   But you know how that is.  Richard is very technologically savvy.  He has a natural talent for it.  So he ran through it as if I were in college rather than the Sesame Street level of teaching that I really needed.  Eventually I stood up and faced the learning curve necessary to start this one. 

This morning I decided to go ahead with the next step in my personal technology growth.  The GPS!

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Yes indeed for years I thought I was the man with my Yahoo and Google map directions.  Too often however they are difficult to read especially in rual areas, or when I’m in another city.  Sometimes the directions are the long way to get somewhere or flat out wrong.  Of course driving and looking at directions isn’t the safest thing to do either.  It’s stressful trying to figure these directions when they name a street that doesn’t have a street sign on it when you approach it.  Or when you have a street that is also named a number.  One major artery in St. Louis for instance is called Lindbergh Blvd.  But it’s also called Hwy 67.  (Though it’s not a highway.)  If someone told me to go to Hwy 67 I would know where to go.  If I were not from here, I would be like, “Dammit!  I don’t see no 67, I see Lindbergh!”

Sports officiating has really brought me down to my directional knees as I go to these schools and ball fields in places I have never been to in my natural life.  So once again as Usher would say, “Here I Stand.”  Today I will make the step, pay the financial cost, and learn the ways of technology that will help my life run smoother.  I just hope the salesperson is not a jerk and will explain the basics to me without being condescending.

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One thought on “My Amish Ways, or the Last of the Technikans

  1. Rich says:

    To be honest, I’m not that great at technology. I’m just not scared to get my hands dirty. I can be a bit slow to make the change myself, but usually my hesitation is financially motivated. I don’t want to pay on the high end and I don’t want something that will be outdated before it catches on — remember laser disc players. The people who bought those got jipped.

    Hey, I still have cassettes down in the basement. Now you would be hard pressed to find something to play them on.

    It seems like the lazy man blog (twitter) has momentarily pushed blogging aside. But I think blogs will prevail. Real writers won’t follow the trend, they’ll stay true to the game.

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