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home : columns : columns July 22, 2014


2/13/2013 9:31:00 AM
Officially behind the times

Dave Fjeld
Writer


I've always taken a little pride in the fact that I've diligently tried to keep up with the times.
When Citizen Publishing scrapped the big blue Compugraphic typesetting machines and opted for the smaller, quieter "green-and-black" screen computers, I was all for it. I remember the late Doug Ryan from Benson Office Supply giving me some sage advice about the computers: "Go ahead and do anything on them. You're not going to break them."
So, I did - do almost anything on them; and I didn't - break them.
When the Citizen went to Windows computers, I jumped right in and began trying to take full advantage of what the computer world was offering. And, for the most part, I kept pace.
But I realized the other day, I've become my parents. I uttered those infamous words my parents said a number of years ago, "Things are changing too fast for me to keep up."
In the newspaper business, those are not the words you want to say, much less write. But it's sadly the truth.
In talking with another gentleman who also is discovering the world of "technologically challenged," we have concluded that we're doing OK, that we'll make it in today's society with or without the tech world's many offerings.
So, how am I falling behind, you ask?
See if you can relate:
I'm not on Facebook or Linked In, although I continue to receive a handful of requests to be "friended" or "added to their professional network."
My trouble with Facebook is that it's one more thing to consume my time. My even greater fear is that, like the girl in the State Farm Insurance commercial who believes everything she reads on the Internet is true, I'll become slanted to believing everything I read on Facebook is fact.
OK, there's no way I'd ever take anything on Facebook as fact, but you get the idea. I'll waste more time trying to decide what is fact and fiction than really getting anything accomplished.
Then, when I've had enough of
Facebook, and refuse to post anything on my page - I'm speaking strictly from information provided by people in my own household - people will wonder what happened to me because I'm never on Facebook.
My greatest fear, of course, is that as soon as I get connected with Facebook, something new will come along and I'll have to learn a new social network all over again.
The bottom line: If you need to contact me, drop me an e-mail. My address is right here - right under my mugshot up there.
Speaking of which (e-mail, that is), what happened to e-mail? I heard some months ago that e-mail is "so yesterday." Yes, I'm yesterday's news, but I do have an e-mail address and in the time it takes to friend me, you can e-mail me.
Better yet, "text" me. Yes, I text.
I thought I was really in the loop when I began texting, but just after I began texting, Twitter became the rage. While I know they are two different things, you won't find me tweeting or reading anyone else's tweets.
For starters, I don't know the first thing about creating a Twitter account and I'm not that interested in knowing what Joe Schmoe said about Nancy Schmancy and how it's created a fervor all over Twitterland.
If it's that important, I'll read about in the newspaper. OK, I probably won't.
Hey, I've got a cell phone on me at almost all times and an Internet connection and a land line at home and work. If you need to contact me, you've got plenty of options.
In fact, here's one that my friend and I are both fearing is becoming instinct - stop by and talk to me face to face. What a novel idea!
Do I need a smartphone?
OK, maybe I pinch a few too many pennies, but do I really need a smartphone?
Now, I understand those individuals who need them for business. No doubt they come in extremely handy for those who are on the go and need to check e-mails regularly.
But for everyday use?
I checked with my cell phone company, just to see what the price tag would be for three new smartphones - one for me, my wife and my daughter.
The initial changeover is going to run me $340 up front - for the phones, changeover fees and other technical jargon that I didn't understand anyway. For that price, I could have taken nine laps around Daytona International Speedway instead of three.
But then there's at least a $90 increase per month in my cell phone bill. That's nearly $1,100 more a year I'll pay for "bonus" phone service - "bonus," as in more than land line.
Yes, I understand there are some pretty neat apps you can get for your phone. But that's just spending more money (yes, I know some apps are free).
Besides, if there's something I really need to know at a moment's notice, there's usually someone with a smartphone nearby who can look up what I need to know.
I realize there will come a day when my cell phone will become obsolete and I will be forced to purchase a smartphone. Until then, I'll remain behind the times.









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