Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Age of Electronics and Me

Maybe I just don't belong in the year 2010. Maybe I should have been born a generation or two earlier. Weird things happen to me involving these new fangled inventions.

I did so much better without things like cell phone cameras, computers and television. I really enjoyed the old Brownie box camera, and French phones with a party line and a friendly operator. The pencil and fountain pen were easy to control. And gathering around the old Atwater-Kent in the evening brought the family together, and Little Orphan Annie and The Lone Ranger didn't encourage children to experiment with sex or drugs, but to get out of doors and play hide-and-seek or to go climb a tree.

Now that we are more or less enslaved by electronics, I keep running into strange things that confuse me. The latest of these happened yesterday.

There I was, happily using my computer to search for more information about my great-grandmother, when a little box popped up in the corner of the screen. It informed me that my daughter in California was calling me on Skype. I abandoned my great-grandmother, and clicked on the Skype button. Immediately I was thrown into confusion. I had never used Skype before. When Mike installed it for me a couple of weeks ago, he had called me from my old computer to my new one across the room to be sure it was working. That was the extent of my experience with this. When I answered the call yesterday, there was no green button that said "Answer". There were only two green buttons: one saying "Call" and the other "Video Call". I tried one, then the other. Neither helped me. Finally I heard Kitty's voice. I did not see her picture, but my own appeared in miniature. We had a rather strange, disjointed conversation at first, because as it happened, she was in a public library in California when her laptop rang and a box had popped up telling her that I was calling her. She walked outside to talk to me. Neither of us had made this call. She did not have her clip-on camera with her. When we had talked previously about calling one another we had said it would be pre-arranged, so that my grandson would be present too. That was the whole idea.

So, how did all this happen? We may never know.

I do know that I have had several emails from Skype, encouraging me to "Make a Call - It's Free". Maybe they got tired of waiting for me and put one through for me. At first I wondered if I had hit the button accidentally. But then wouldn't I have had to select another button to reach the person I wanted to talk to?

That old fashioned French phone and the friendly Long Distance Operator are lookin' pretty good to me right now.


Daryl said...

You've stumped me. Personally I think that new PC is possessed.

blah said...

you are too funny. fountain pens were never easy to control.

Kitty said...

yeah and the Lone Ranger encouraging kids to go climb a tree?? Uh, how much time do you have.

Kitty said...

If it makes you feel any better, I just found Isaac in the garage holding down the call button on his walkie talkie going "Noah! Noah! Can you hear me??" and his friend Noah was in the bedroom shouting into the play telephone. They couldn't understand why they weren't hearing each other.

~Brenda said...

Bobbie I have heard of Skype but, we don't have it. Makes me wonder how you and your daughter were connected.

Thanks so much for your comment on my Fibromyalgia post; I appreciate it! You are informed about this illness and sound very caring.

Rambling Woods said...

I have never used can dial on its own?...Michelle