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Terri Simon

Not so savvy

You probably think I know a lot about technology, especially since I use a computer for about 90 percent of all my tasks at the newspapers and magazines we publish. We call it technologically savvy — those folks who know their way around all the bells and whistles a computer has to offer. But nothing could be further from the truth, and I don’t mind telling you so.

That’s right. While I’m better than what I used to be, I’m probably in the 30th percentile of computer knowledge — and that may be stretching it. The technological world has passed me by, and even though I try like all get out to keep up, the brain only has so much room left for new concepts, programs and technology information. It’s OK. I’m good with it because fortunately, I have surrounded myself with people who are much more “technologically savvy” than I am. It works out fairly well, since these computer-minded people share with me what I need to know — fully realizing I will forget how to perform those functions the next time I need them.

On the flip side, I’m not sure how we functioned before computers sat on our desks. Oh, I remember — and it wasn’t that long ago, but it’s still difficult to think how much our efficiency has improved with the arrival of computers. Actually, when I think back to our first computers in the newsroom — all gathered in a common place where you had to wait for one reporter to get finished with his/her story before you could jump on and type your story — we’ve come a long way, baby ... as the story goes.

My personal computer at home is another story. At home, I’m on my own to “experiment,” so to speak. I’m not above calling one of my colleagues at work to help me out of a jam, but by and large, I just keep pushing buttons until something works ... or until I get the system to a point where nothing works at all! I used to get worried about what I might do — what I might erase for all eternity, but now, I take it all with a grain of salt and just keep “experimenting.”

While it seems as if computers have been around forever, I was probably one of the last to actually take the jump and get my own personal computer at home. I’m like that, you know. While I know there are always the folks who like to be the first to have the most new-fangled technology, I’m usually the last. My thinking is that by the time I get on board, they’ll have the kinks worked out, and it will be smooth sailing for this old girl.

It’s same with other electronic devices ... Everyone on God’s green earth had a microwave before I broke down and bought one. By then the price had dropped considerably; the bells and whistles were much more advanced. It was very similar with my first VCR and then the DVD player. Everyone else had them for years before I jumped on the bandwagon.

And then there is the smartphone ... I’ve come to the realization that my first smartphone — the one I got long after everyone else had their smartphone — is just another gadget in my long list of electronic belongings that was created to make me feel not-so-smart. I’ve resigned myself to knowing I will never understand the ins and outs of this hand-held contraption, and that’s OK. I can call, text, email and check the weather, the stock market and my Facebook. Anything after that turns my smartphone into a dummy phone, but that’s OK.

So what’s my point? Technology is only as good as the person who knows how to (or not how to) use it. For those of you out there like me who have some mental gaps, don’t get nutty. In the scope of things, the technologically challenged in this world far outnumber the technologically savvy. Welcome to my world, my friends ...

The Tonica News Editor Terri Simon can be reached at news@tonicanews.com.