By Christie Wilson
I am edging ever closer to becoming my mother. The dear old woman's technological education pretty much stopped with the advent of the microwave oven. She couldn't even operate a clock radio.
I know how she felt. I would be happy if there was a freeze on every type of technology at home or the office, at least until I retire.
I am not anti-tech. I surf the Net, shop online and am crazy for digital cameras. I think being able to burn your own music CDs is cool.
But everything works fine just the way it is. I do not need to learn anything new.
I like to operate on a "need to know" basis. Just tell me what I need to know to get the task done and don't bother with the bells and whistles or new archive systems. Not interested. There is only so much space in my brain, and I have only so many hours in a day, to accommodate unnecessary technological activity.
So why do they keep issuing me a new cell phone every year, forcing me to crack open another instruction booklet just when I had figured out how to access the voice mail on my old phone? This latest wireless contraption is even equipped with a camera.
Of course, I did not consult the booklet, instead passing the device to my teenage daughter, who programmed the thing with one hand while watching "Degrassi." In a few scant minutes, she selected a new ring tone, punched in my phone list, set up wallpaper of the dog, and programmed in her cell number so that when she calls, I can see her name and photo in the little window.
And take my digital TV remote ... please. It's the size of a checkbook, yet it has 48 buttons on it — 48, I counted 'em. Tiny buttons, too. If you have hammy fingers like mine, you invariably end up pushing more than one button at a time, sending the TV set into conniptions. Or you're forever pressing the wrong button — then you have to press a half-dozen more buttons before you can get back to where you were.
All I really need here are buttons to control the volume and channels, a "last" button so I can jump back and forth between shows, a mute key, and the program guide. I do not need to establish settings for my favorite shows, program in reminders for when my favorite shows are starting, or order pizza.
Recently when I was in one of my cranky-old-lady moods, I called the cable company to see if it was possible to trade in the newfangled remote for the older model. The nice young woman on the phone chuckled in that polite way used for humoring cranky old ladies. Except I wasn't joking.
More is not always better. Sometimes it's just more.
Reach Christie Wilson at email@example.com.