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Baby Steps in Technology

How technology contributes to self-discovery and growth

A sampling of technology in the home

The year was 1995 when my family acquired our first home computer. My husband, a CAD designer for a university, felt it would be helpful to bring new tech home so our children (ages 3 and 4) and I (aged 31) could catch up with the home computer craze.

At first, I was disinterested. However, as a writer, I recognized the necessity and ‘simplicity’ of word processing programs. The first day I approached the computer, I thought to myself, “How tough could this be”, certain I’d have it conquered in no time.

Unexpectedly, I got stalled by turning the wretched machine on. After fifteen minutes of unsuccessful attempts, I was ready to give up. My daughter must have heard my barely muffled expletives and asked if she could help. Frustrated, I tossed up my hands and waved her to the beastly machine.

Her slender fingers tapped the same buttons I had touched, tapped, and cursed mere moments ago. Seconds later, the computer blinked to life along with the program I desired. I was astonished.

That was the moment I realized my life was about to be turned upside down by technology. I reluctantly accepted the necessity to learn as much as I can as fast as I can.

A few years later, my son grabbed the remote control from my hand, following a similar technology tug-of-war, and covered all buttons with tape except three: off/on, volume and channel. While the incident remains a family joke, it’s a reminder that there is no standing still with technology.

Fast forward 20 years and I now have an internet business as a content and brand developer for Boomers and GenXers. A common discussion among my clients and social media platforms is the dizzying speed at which tech is permeating our lives.

While I continue to have tech-related hissy fits, there are days I love that I have successfully worked through a problem and have implemented the new tech into my life and business. Of course, the time allotment to get to that point is lengthy.

· The several hours needed to sync my Bluetooth with my phone, finally reaching success with this highly needed time-saving device. (The task now is to quit losing it.)

· It took me 8 days to learn how to build my CRM (content relationship management) tool

· It took me 3 weeks to understand and coordinate a graphic design tool, landing page software and my email marketing tool to create effective email marketing programs

· I have logged HOURS of help files, You Tube videos, live chats, and email support. Not counting the hours complaining to sympathetic ears or the amount of cussing and crying over an annoying yet necessary bit of tech.

The process continues: Even today, I am learning a new smartphone after my good ol’ LG developed glitch-itis following six years of dedicated service. Happy note: the millennial employees at my local cell phone store were impressed that I got three times the lifespan that most owners acquire.

Regardless of my struggle with technology, I am amazed and somewhat envious at how well the younger generations adapt and happily mingle with technology. While my 5 year old granddaughter can install an app faster than I can, many of my clients and connections are amazed at how well I grasp technology.

I continue to have headaches and victories with technology, but the thrill is knowing that I have become adept at what I use. It’s almost…fun…to try something new, but I don’t seek it out. Usually it is thrust upon me by the needs of my business.

The lesson learned is this: settle in, accept that technology is here for the rest of our lives, and it is just as stubborn as we are. Learn. Adapt. Apply. Ask your grandchildren for help then dig out your old typewriter and give them a taste of how their technology evolved. If you find you don’t need that new bit of tech, then delete. That is the power YOU possess!

However, I still refuse to handle the remote control.

Kristen

Making Midlife Better

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