Everyone has known for many years how I feel about computers, but I think this week we have reached new heights. I say that computers are taking over the world and those of us who don’t use them continuously are being discriminated against.
I wanted to sign up for a class this summer. It was one I have been interested in for a while. I took my admission papers for the school and tried to follow the instructions. The main instruction is to sign up on-line, not by calling the school. I went to the WebAdvisor page and followed enough instructions so it got my name right.
The next instruction said to “Click Here” to sign up for the class. I “clicked there” and got to the class page. I clicked on the class I wanted. It sent me back to the WebAdvisor page which instructed me to “Click here” to sign up for the class. For an hour and a half I continued to “click here,” with each click getting me nowhere in particular and always taking me back to the WebAdvisor page which advised me to “Click here.” By then, if I had owned a revolver, I would have pointed it at the computer, put my finger on the trigger and invited the computer to “click here.”
Of course, eventually I had to contact the school who discovered a “little glitch” in my program, so they signed me up for the class. This happens to me frequently; apparently I have a spot on my computer which invites me to “click here for the little glitch!” The whole point is that in the end, a person signed me up for the class.
The same thing happens whenever I attempt to use the computer for such transactions. I went to get a ticket to a play I really wanted to see. I had to set up an account first and then “click here” to get my ticket. I clicked. The little swirly circle swirled and I thought we were all set up. Two weeks later, no ticket had arrived. I took a chance. I called. The lady there said, “No, you didn’t buy a ticket. Too bad, we’re all out. You should have called.”
Trouble is, of course, phones are no better these days. They are all little computers just dripping with apps and programs and even cameras. And they are truly dehumanizing the country. I eat lunch alone in restaurants a lot. I don’t like it but it’s often necessary. When I sit in those restaurants, I watch the people at tables around me who come in together, but who are also eating alone. Or they are eating with their preferred companions, their phones. It’s too sad to be funny.
Discrimination is the hot topic of the country. We should have consideration for the differently abled, racial tension, gender identity, etc. We should have consideration for those groups, but what about those of us who are simply not in step with all this technology? We need a voice to speak for us as well.
The crowning moment came this week. I sat down to do some work on my computer (yes, I have one) and it couldn’t be accessed. It was busy “updating.” It’s done this before…usually takes about 20 minutes. Except that this took five hours and when it was finished, it announced, “We have updated you to Windows 10.” Now, that was unnerving, to say the least. My computer made a decision for me and then tied up my programs for five hours to do something I didn’t want done in the first place.
After it was finished, there was this creepy little message which now sits permanently on the bottom of my screen: “I’m Cortana. Ask me anything.” It sounds a little like a sexual come-on, but if I were to ask Cortana something, it would probably be to give her a suggestion of what she can do with herself.
Non-techies arise! We must do something before it’s too late! Give me my paper and pencil back—or at least, let me have my Windows 8!