Technology for dummies

Where I live, I can hear the Demerara River and see her waves flash gold in the early morning sun as I curl up with an e-book in my hammock.

Not more than two hours before my cellular phone would have started it’s annoying quest to get me out of bed. And before my feet would’ve touched the floor for the first time that day I’d have already checked my email.

I, like many in my generation, cannot imagine life without technology. I own two desktops (which I’ve parked in a fowl pen), a laptop (she sleeps in my bed), a netbook, a smart phone, and quite a few other computerised little gadgets. All my life I have depended on these instruments.

I remember in 1999 when I got my first beauty. I spent no less than 8 hours on school days and 12 to 14 hours on weekends exploring the Internet. I took a lot of verbal spanking from Nani (maternal grandmother) and Mamoo (uncle) but nothing could get me away from that computer monitor. They eventually gave up and let me have my way.

Now most of us walk around with internet access in our palms and the power to communicate at will. Scary? Perhaps.

And somehow, maybe because I was born around the technological boom and grew up on its wave I seem to expect everyone to be technology literate. It simply shocks me when someone says they can’t use a computer and you know, I hear that fairly often in this land of many waters.

Now don’t get me wrong. They aren’t very poor and they do own computers or smart phones in many instances but they just can’t use them! And there are some instances which are just so amusing I can’t help but rambling about them here.

Recently, someone entered my radar. We’ll call this someone ‘Lost’. Now ‘Lost’ has serious technological issues. ‘Lost’ owns a high-tech camera, uses it quite well and is quite smart.

So for the life of me I could not help but laugh when a friend told me what ‘Lost’ had been up to. You see, ‘Lost’ turns on his computer (which is attached to a network), sees the start-up screen where you have to type in your user name and password and goes into a slight panic.

‘Lost’ beckons to my friend and says the computer isn’t working. Nope, I’m not joking. She wasn’t joking. We were very serious.

And then there’s this man I saw one morning in a bus. He had one of these slick, touch-screen e-book readers and was sitting in that loud minibus looking as intelligent as ever. Eventually I sat next to this gentleman only to see that he was holding the device the wrong side up, upside down, whichever term you’d prefer.

What the heck! It didn’t hit me then but now that I think about it I realise that in addition to not being as technologically savvy as he appeared, the gentleman most likely could not read. I doubt he likes reading upside down or that he does it just to get people like me rambling.

Now in addition to ‘Lost’ and the upside down man I’ll have to throw in my uncle. One day I decided to let him read something I’d written. So I pull the document up on the computer screen and sit him down in my chair. A minute later the phone rings, it’s for him so he gets distracted a bit and I’m off to blow dry my hair. Several minutes later he shouts to me. “[My pet name] is blackout so a can’t finish reading this thing. Damn GPL always with some nonsense. You can’t do nothing in this country,” he frets.

Now, I look at the still functioning blow dryer in my hand. I’m very puzzled and so I walk to the computer and sure enough my screensaver is on. Need I say more?

Since then I’ve shown uncle the difference between blackout and the screensaver. At least there‘s still some hope for him.

Perhaps I should open a business for these technologically challenged folks. I’ll sell it like this:

“Tired of being a technology slow goat? Come…”. Forgive me but I just don’t know how to sell it without getting bitten by the goat! (

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