Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Mary Alice Powell

Senior sees no trauma in technology

As a member of the growing segment of the population known as seniors, golden-agers, oldsters, blue hair, and sun-setters, I feel confident that I am tuned in for 2003. It wasn't easy getting in step with all the new technology, but through determination I now have a sense of belonging.

For example, I rarely leave home without the cellular phone. On the rare occasions that I do forget it, I turn around and drive home to get it, even if it's 10 miles.

If someone asks me for the cell number, I draw a blank. The only time that I use that number is when I can't find it and use the house phone to call the cell phone. It may take two or three calls until I can locate the beeping little black telephone, which often is in a coat pocket in a back closet. (A couple of times I have found it under the seat of the car.)

The location of the telephone is no problem when I am asleep. I keep it under my pillow.

I am really with it on this phone business. You could call me a ding-a-ling. I place it to the right of the plate in a restaurant. I am right handed and want to make a quick pick up if it rings. I must admit that when it does ring it is so unusual I am startled. It must be disappointing for important people not to be paged in public places since the cell phone craze. It is, however, sad to go to a funeral or a wedding and hear the pastor ask the attendees to turn off their cell phones before the service begins.

Even though the ringing of cell phones in supermarkets and other retail stores can sound like band practice, especially around 5 p.m. when family members apparently check in, we all know our own ring. It's like a mother hen knowing her own chick.

That brings me to my technical ability on the computer.

I know I am a savvy senior, because I can't wait to turn on the computer and check my e-mail before the coffeepot is plugged in at 6 a.m.

If there is a message, I get disgusted if it's spam, that rude or unnecessary stuff, and disappointed that there is not one word from family members. If I get too disturbed I start out fresh with a new user name.

I believe it when the sender warns that bad luck will strike soon if I don't forward the message to 20 other people. Sure enough, I have had bad luck once or twice.

The three newsletters of membership organizations that once came by mail and were read leisurely and enjoyably in the comfort of the recliner in the living room are being e-mailed. I wonder what I have missed in them. E-mail is a poor substitute for a 10-page hand-held paper missive.

The exception is reading The Blade on the Internet when I am out of town.

However, I'm still behind the times when it comes to using the dotcoms. I still go to the library for information on any subject and make telephone calls for reservations. But when a TV commercial does not include Internet information, it seems incomplete, even though I couldn't remember the address if I did intend to use it.

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