I never would have thought that I would want our children and grandchildren to become computer geeks, but truly it's high on my wish list now. No matter what I try to do, I'm stymied by endless computer complications and my inability to correct them. The younger generation can complete a task on line in minutes, while it takes me an hour just to understand what I'm supposed to do much less actually do it.
Since Covid-19 I have gone on line to order so many things like groceries, gloves and bottles of hand sanitizers. After finally navigating the various sites and finding the articles I want to purchase, I have to struggle to pay for them with a credit card. All the checkout sites today seem to want me to use pay pal? I don't have pay pal and haven't the faintest idea why I would need to. Doesn't anyone use personal checks, cash or debit cards anymore?
Every appliance I purchase requires me to go on line and register in order to activate the warranty. I don't know why I need a warranty on my new toaster or waffle iron, but apparently, I do, and it's an ordeal to complete the paperwork on line. I absolutely hate it and become very frustrated trying to follow the instructions.
When a mysterious light appears on my car's dashboard, I'm expected to know how to go to "settings” and try to figure out what the various symbols indicate (a triangle, an exclamation point, a circle with a red line through it). And just try to change the settings on your pre programed radio stations (between AM, FM and Sirius XM). I recently tried to delete an AM channel and lock in ESPN. It's was so complicated that I had to return to the dealer and ask the salesman to do it for me. Last week, a sentence appeared on the dashboard screen in my car saying that the phone was no longer connected. I therefore did not have had access to any radio stations and was unable to make calls. After trying to solve the problem myself, with no luck, I drove back to the dealership (I'm on a first name basis with the men that work in the service department there). I'm sure they see me pulling up and mutter to themselves, “Here she comes again." Well, if they don't want me showing up regularly, maybe the instructions in the handbook and the ones on the dashboard could be stated in plain English and made easier to follow.
I have the same trouble with our televisions. I can't count the number of times I'm asked to put in my user ID and/or password for Netflix, Amazon Prime or any number of other channels. When I do, I see the dreaded message on the television screen stating that I've entered something incorrectly and have to redo it. Then I endure the tedious task of changing the password which takes quite a bit of time, using the remote to type in the new entries. If the smart TV is smart enough to notify me that I've used the wrong password, why is it not smart enough to supply the correct one for me?
I know I am not the only one with these problems. Most of my friends say they make a list of their technical issues about everything from Alexis not connecting to the internet to the printer suddenly not working...so that when their kids come for a visit, they can fix the problems. It's a "honeydo” list for kids instead of for our husbands.
Lest you think I am purely venting my frustration at my lack of technical expertise; I do have a hypothetical solution. It is to encourage our kids and grandkids to form their own small businesses (on the caliber of the old-fashioned lemonade stands we manned as kids or lawn mowing and raking leaves services for neighbors. In this difficult financial time, it would be a way for them to earn some extra money and offer a worthwhile and badly needed service. Pretend you live in a condo building with 100 residents or a neighborhood of the same size. Out of those 100, I would bet that at least 5 or 6 households will have computer issue or some kind of technical difficulty in any given week. If your child were to charge $5 - $10 a visit to help resolve the problem, he/she could potentially make a few hundred dollars a month. I am not suggesting that this business plan replace experienced technical service companies like Best Buy's Computer Geeks, but rather they can handle simple problems that arise and that a professional company would consider too small to tackle.
Now that I think about it, I believe I owe my daughter and my 8 year old grandson a few hundred dollars because every other day I'm calling one or the other to ask how to change the font on my manuscript or how to remove page numbers...little things that I was never taught and that are second nature to the generation that's been brought up with their own computers, I pads etc.
If this isn't the solution, maybe someone should write a simple manual tackling all these quirky little problems? Something like computer and everyday technical questions for dummies. But I promise you...it won't be me!
Until my next inspiration...ciao