March 6, 2014

WILLIAMS: Living behind the digital times

I was so grateful to turn in my smartphone when I retired. It was practically like brand new as several of its features had never been used. For instance, I never downloaded an app.

I bought a simple flip phone from Consumer Cellular in case of emergencies — $15 a month.

When my friend recently had surgery, her daughter messaged me on Facebook asking, “Have you been getting my texts? I’ve been keeping up a running commentary about how Mom’s doing but you’ve never texted me back?”

She was aghast when I told her my phone didn’t do texts — and neither did I.

The car I have now has all kinds of little doo-dah buttons on the dash that I’ve never used. I think one of them is a Blue Tooth connection. I’m not quite sure how that works. I can also find out exactly how many miles I can travel before I run out of gas although I’ve always found the gas gauge to be sufficient for my needs in that regard.

I recently changed my Internet/phone/cable provider. They gave me an even more complicated remote than I had before. It will practically do cartwheels across the living room floor. But all I do is watch, change channels and occasionally record. I can imagine the remote sulking on the end table, “Geez, how did I get assigned to her? I never get to show my stuff.”

The longer I am retired, the more I notice that it isn’t only in technology that I’m falling behind in but other areas as well.

Food, for example. I have a friend who is insistent that I try hummus. I’ll love it, she says. So, I looked it up and here is what hummus is: cooked, mashed chick peas with tahini, olive oil and lemon. So, then, of course, I had to research tahini, which I’d never heard of. Turns out it is a sesame paste. I can’t imagine anything that sounds (or looks) more unappetizing than mashed chick peas and sesame paste. I hardly like any food with the consistency of paste except maybe peanut butter and mashed potatoes.

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