Romancing technology

My relationship with technology is in trouble.

I’ve tried breaking up with it, but like any long-term relationship, neither of us is willing to make the final break. So we both hang on, annoying each other, arguing, and even yelling when things go terribly wrong.

For now, I’m all yelled out. I’m too exhausted to do anything but sigh with relief that technology and I are back together again in our uneasy alliance.

After six days of being without a router, my new one arrived in the mail this morning. For a 13-ounce box, it sure packs a punch. Even though I had it up and operational, it refused to connect me to the internet. Once Charter washed its hands of my problem, I was back with the router company, which employs the same annoying automated voice that Charter uses. Always cheerful, never helpful, the voice finally connected me to my new friend from India who assured me that I’d be connected to the internet in no time.

Well, if 45 minutes is your idea of “no time,” then he was correct.

I was feeling badly about requiring all this technical help when he paused, said, “hmm,” and then told me his first easy solution didn’t work. He had to do the connection “manually,” which meant he was going to have to use his technology-packed brain to fix this problem. And this is a guy who gave up engineering for customer service. He was willing to accept a big pay cut for my kind of human interaction. (OK, so I haven’t really given up interviewing people. Once a reporter, always a reporter.)

Finally, after a couple of more tries, the internet was once more mine. I never knew how much I wanted it until it pretended to not want me. Sure, I whine about technology, but what would I do without email and the wonders of online?

I guess I’m the one who will always have to learn the hard way. Heck, I was frightened of that IBM Selectric typewriter I learned to type on in 1972, but I was able to do 65 words a minute, no mistakes, by the time I graduated typing class.

With that kind of background, maybe I’ll end up like my friend from India — troubleshooting router and computer problems for people less technologically savvy than me.

But first I have to find those people and teach them about electricity.



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