Last month for my birthday we got the Samsung Frame tv whose main selling point is, when off, displays different pieces of art work and/or selected pictures from your phone.
“Can I get network television?”
“Yes,” promised the sales rep.
“Do I need a Firestick or Roku?”
“Nope. All built in.”
And thus began Liz’s latest foray into techno-world. The Geek Squad guys came out and installed it. Gave me a two-hour tutorial. I wrote everything in a notebook. When they left I felt pretty confident I had a handle on this and started to play around with it.
Roadblock Number 1: Passwords. So many passwords. Apple ID. Amazon password. Netflix. Hulu. Peacock. Apple TV (different from Apple ID.. or is it?) I would soon find out as I dialed the 24/7/365 service that we’d paid an additional $200 for to assist me in setting up this new smart tv to my specific viewing needs.
“Hi this is Micah, how can I help you?”
After three hours on the phone with the ever-patient Micah I’m pretty sure he wishes he had never picked up the call. I was able to get through about half the options I wanted to learn to access on this new device. I also learned that Micah lives in Ohio, has a dog and is spending Thanksgiving with his girlfriend’s family. He was really quite a love and I never once heard him sigh or sound exasperated (although he had good reason.) He may have rolled his eyes but I couldn’t hear that. Most of all Micah sounded young. And that dear readers makes all the difference. Because as much as I protest against ageism, stereotyping, ‘okay-boomering’ or any other dis you want to throw at me, I am cowered and often defeated by technology.
I learned how to type on a manual typewriter. White-out and liquid erase were my best friends. IBM Selectrics were a minor miracle. When we converted to computers in the eighties, I was a pretty quick learner. As a teacher it was wonderful to be able to type up a report on my Apple desktop and send it to the printer. Cut and paste? Revisions? Edits? I got this. Until I didn’t.
Because since my retirement my facility with technology has morphed into a need-to-know basis. I love technology but it has advanced a lot faster than I have. But want-to-know is a mighty temptation and so I continue to try to learn.
“Get your kids to do it,” my friends suggest.
Sure. Unfortunately my kids do not have the patience of Micah and so I had to weigh the benefits vs the barbs when I trepidatiously asked my daughter for some assistance when she was home for Thanksgiving. Bingo! I caught her in a good mood and with a few click-and-points I had learned how to access a several more options on the tv.
“Teach me how to put music in my Instagram,” I ask her. (Am I pushing my luck?) Patiently she shows me how simple it is and I jot a few notes down to remember the steps. Do I need to learn reels yet? Nah. I’ll wait until next time she’s home.
I do not want to be out-of-touch dinosaur whose brain can’t quite grasp these new-fangled contraptions. It’s okay I tell myself. You’ll get better at this Liz. You don’t need to learn everything all at once. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to find my Hulu password and if not, figure out how to change it. Look out Micah.. I’m coming for you.