Val's View: A Technical Work in Progress
Posted on 05 December 2021
My relationship with technology is evolving- slowly but surely, I'm getting more comfortable in the data-driven world we inhabit. It seems like this modern era is moving like a high-speed train, and if you don’t get on board you may be left at the station. I feel just a bit tardy to the party! However, I think it's never too late to learn, so I’ve decided to suspend my belief that new tech is not for my generation.
Our daily lives can involve everything from banking apps, digital wallets, and direct deposits to artificial intelligence and virtual reality. A simple Google search can satiate practically any curiosity, whereas we used to have to go to the library to do research. A few of my most-used apps are real-time savers: Waze for traffic, Audible for audiobooks, Lyft for ridesharing. In addition, I am actually participating in one of the first market research studies to test driverless cars! The future is here and I'm going to be a part of it. I must admit, the idea of letting a machine be in charge of my destiny is not brand new. I have had robotic surgery and have been letting computers on auto-pilot mode transport me across the planet in bullet trains and planes without thinking twice.
I have the basics down- cutting and pasting, downloading documents, and writing on google docs- but let's just say I won't be writing code any time soon. It’s not about willingness, it's more about accessibility and support. Patience and persistence pay off. Plato said it best, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Your thoughts affect your biology. If so, we should download good information into the motherboard, the most powerful computer ever, our brains. We are rewiring and making new neural connections constantly. I tell myself, “you got this!” until I don’t, then I try again.
Literacy in technology is about bridging the gap between the internal circuitry of our brains to evaluate, interface, and implement the tools at our disposal. We now have watches that monitor our heart rate, Alexa broadcasting our favorite tunes, and we even have smart refrigerators! Doorbell cameras and city bikes have both been made possible through innovation. There is a learning curve, I must admit. When it's user-friendly, I’m happy to be able to try all these cool options. Once it is explained and I get some practical experience, it becomes second nature. When you encounter an obstacle, don’t give up and lose interest. If you stick with it it will stick! A great resource that is completely free is South Florida Tech For Seniors. This organization was founded by a tech guru to help seniors gain independence and keep them motivated towards understanding innovation. It empowers individuals to strive for their fullest potential of personal growth.
Convenience Through Connectivity
The tremendous urge to lead better lives has given us endless benefits. The trick is to know when to unplug. I attempt to stay current and true to my nature. It is a balancing act like so many things. I picked one social media platform- Instagram- and I try to limit my time there. I post often, but it is not my main source of validation. I prefer a phone call over text but since I discovered voice to text, it has expedited my slow typing skills. I wrote a little children’s book, The Girl with the Green Shoes, and had such a positive experience sharing it online. I collaborated with an illustrator living in Russia and even reached a young girl that has spina bifida who related to the main character, Willow. I never would have found these connections otherwise. No Twitter or TikTok for me, but I do enjoy sharing fun content and I love cute emojis. Zoom and YouTube are here to stay and I can't wait to see what's next. My tip for online etiquette is avoiding hot button issues and always answering people back. Ghosting and trolling are no-nos.
Online shopping took me a minute. Now that I have learned a few things by trial and error, I feel comfortable with the digital purchase. I like the fact that you can lock in a good sale price without the parking hassle of a mall. If I have a question or get stuck, I'm comfortable calling customer service. I can count on the Anthony’s team to take me across the finish line and get my order shipped on time. Next on my wishlist from Anthony’s is going to be the plush Cozy Fleece High-Low Sweater and Cozy Fleece Pull-On Crop Pant, both by Habitat. I may even wear that on the plane to London and use my long puffer jacket as my pillow. I also really like the Ivory French News Pull-On Ankle Pant by Krazy Larry. It’s simple, chic, and most importantly, versatile.
As I ponder the last 10 years, I am truly amazed at the strides I’ve taken and will do my best to keep taking the ride. Tell us your funniest tech moment or what you gained by leaning into the future of technology?