Techno oh-no

Do you suffer from Techno-phobia? Keeping up with gadgets that are designed to make our lives easier can be stressful.

The other day my husband mentioned that he is thinking about switching our cell phone service to another company. I felt a little bit of dread in the pit of my stomach. “Does that mean we need to get new phones?” I nervously inquired. “No,” was his welcomed response. That is a good thing, since we just got new phones two months ago and my learning curve on new gadgets is pretty steep. I am still trying to figure out how to answer my new phone without hanging up on someone.

Luckily, Michigan State University Extension has many online programs that help adapt new technology users in a friendly and easy to use way. In the meantime, for those of you struggling with your new technology devices, you’re not alone. Here are some of my challenges.

My work as an educator with MSU Extension often involves driving to many areas around the state to deliver research based educational opportunities in various communities.  Because I travel a lot, and because I have no sense of direction, I tend to rely on my cell phone for navigation. I have a love-hate relationship with my phone navigator, which is designed of course to make my life less stressful.

Sometimes the navigator tells me the actual name of the street to turn, and others time it just says “Turn right.” Once in a while the navigator is just plain rude, and lets me know continually that it does not approve my ignoring of her wise guidance. “Recalculating...make a legal U-turn when possible.” Sometimes  it will pipe up when it is quiet, just to give me a scare and say, “No phone service!” That tends to be quite often in rural Michigan areas.

This brings me to my useless high tech alarm clock, designed to make waking up more enjoyable. It has so many features that I don’t even have the time to figure out how to use. So, I use my cell phone as an alarm clock. I must have done something to the alarm clock though, because every morning, without fail, the radio comes on at 6:05 a.m. It must have annoyed me enough that at some point I figured out how to turn down the volume, so it is at least silent. I can’t figure out how to turn it back on though. One early morning my husband asked why the alarm clock read 104.5. I told him I didn’t know and that it does the same thing every morning.   

Staying connected with others is supposed to help alleviate stress. When I set up my new phone, I also must have checked an “alert me every single time someone emails, texts, comments on mine or anyone’s social media posts.” As a result, my phone is always chirping, blinging and buzzing, even throughout the night. I like and need my sleep, so I have had to turn my volume off in the evening and through the night because of this.  Now, the only thing is that if someone needs to actually call me in the middle of the night because of an emergency, I won’t hear it because the volume is turned off. This causes me stress every night before I fall asleep.  What if someone actually needs to call me on my phone and I can’t hear it?

So, you can see for many reasons why the thought of getting a new phone causes me dread. I admit that I am phone dependent, and am still willing to deal with the stress of it all. I do worry how I would survive a Zombie Apocalypse without a cell phone. Thank goodness MSU Extension has an online class I can take. Now, if I could figure out how to register for it on my phone.

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