It should come as no surprise that I am not a member of the FBI, the NRA, or the CIA. I do not work for the FDA or the FAA. I once considered joining the PTA and I carry a membership card for the AAA travel club. However, I am probably most known for my association with the TCP. Yes, folks, I am a member of that notable group of people known as Technologically-Challenged Persons.
I have been a Technologically-Challenged Person for some time. I first joined the ranks about ten years ago when I determined I did not need a cell phone. My home phone rang enough during the day, so the last thing I wanted was a ringing phone in my purse. However, when my oldest son began driving, owning a cell phone meant I could be in touch with him whenever needed, which gave this mama some comfort. Not willing to be drawn into a phone contract, I stuck with a prepaid phone plan at first. Eventually a family phone plan saved us some money. Finally I gave in to the world of texting. At first it took me twice as long to text a message as it did to call. Things have only slightly improved.
My next hurdle as a TCP was social media. I had always appreciated the value of the world wide web, but I surely didn’t need the internet to talk to people! Email became my first online venture-after all, it was simply mail without a stamp. But I dug in my heels on a Facebook account, until my sons went to college. With Facebook accounts of their own, they were able to communicate much of their college experience via posts and pictures. After having too many conversations with friends who commented about the great pictures my sons were posting, I decided it was time for me, this TCP, to step into the world of social media and Facebook.
My sons were soon encouraging me to tweet. Being sure I was too old to tweet, I kindly ignored them for some time. But a little over a year ago, on a cold snowy evening when everyone was stuck at home, I had a weak moment and allowed my son to set up a Twitter account for me. I think I have tweeted twice. I might have twelve people following me. I would check, but being a TCP, I don’t know how. In a later moment of near insanity, I set up a Tumblr account, for which I promptly lost my username and password and have never opened up since.
A major breakthrough for this TCP occurred when I upgraded my cell phone to a smartphone. After choosing my new phone, the customer service man asked for my current phone in order to transfer my contacts over. When I handed him my phone, he gave a low whistle and commented that he “hadn’t seen one of those for a long time”. I even had to remind him how to use it. After going to the back room to transfer my phone’s information to the new phone, he returned to report he did not have a USB connector that worked because my phone was so old. Fortunately I had brought mine along. After disappearing again into the back room, he re-emerged with a somewhat grim look on his face and announced that the transfer process had not worked, all my contact information had been lost, and, in fact, my battery had also been fried in the process, making my old phone entirely unusable. So I was now the owner of a strange new smartphone with nothing on it of my own. Somehow I didn’t feel so smart at that moment. I longed to have my old, comfortable clunky phone back. But it was too late. Every ounce of this TCP wanted to cry, but I kept a stiff upper lip and timidly slid the shiny new strange smartphone into my purse.
Things have improved since then. My smartphone and I have developed a casual working relationship. And, as you can tell, I have even ventured into writing my own blog. Yes, I am learning more about technology each day, but I will always be a TCP, and that is just fine with me.