Column: Technology through the years | Columnists

Column: Technology through the years | Columnists

I now take pity on my son who has to try, over the phone, to talk me through my new household technology. How do I cast what is on my computer screen to the television, or make Alexa work, or get library books onto this little screen pad thing? Once again terminology becomes a stumbling block.

Me: I don’t see settings.

Him: It’s the settings symbol.

Me: What’s it look like?

Him: It’s the thing that looks like a cog.

People who grew up using computers know what is hidden on a screen. It’s like when you played Super Mario Brothers for the first time. You had no idea there were things hidden in the screen for you to find until your 7-year-old started showing you how and where to find blocks, mushrooms and fireballs. When you don’t have children in the house, you not only don’t know what things are, but you have no idea how to pronounce them. My girlfriends and I were discussing WiFi, memes, and GIFs one night with such misunderstanding and mispronunciation that we barely knew what each other was trying to say.

I recently treated myself to a smartwatch. I’m thrilled how it not only tracks the laps I swim, but records which strokes I use. I’m not sure that’s helpful information, but it’s amazing that it’s possible. I’m certain my watch does more than I know, and I’m learning more about it by badgering young friends.

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