Friday, July 9, 2010

Technology and Me

I took an aptitude test in college--a very long time ago. But the few minutes I sat across a desk from the advisor who went over the test results left a lasting impression. I scored very high in all service oriented categories. Helping others seemed to be my strength, good news for someone working on a degree to teach. When the man reached the category of Mechanical Ability, he wiped his hand across his forehead, leaned forward and said, "You scored in the first percentile here. 1%! You don't even like to open a can, do you?"

That was in 1957 and little has changed about me in that respect. But today, we can add Technology to the older Mechanical Ability category. Whenever I've had to do something with my computer or cellphone, I  panic. I know that I'll probably mess it up somehow. Possible lack of confidence? Most definitely! It's easy to panic when you perform a task that is so foreign.

I dread making changes on my computer, but I must admit that I am much better now than when I first started using a computer. Then, I really did panic whenever something needed to be installed. All those dialogue boxes that pop up and ask if you're sure you want to perform whatever frightened me. I thought the whole compuer might just blow up if I did something wrong. For me, it was foreign territory.

As time went on, and I became slightly more comfortable, I still worried but no longer went into panic mode. And I became emboldened enough to click on Yes when they asked if I was sure I wanted to change something. I still didn't like having to make major changes or to install a new program. And that's what I had to do this week.

After a discussion with my son, I decided to give up my anti-virus protection that goes up in price nearly every time it is renewed. Kirk suggested I use a free antivirus program that he'd been using and had been satisfied with. I checked, and it is also rated very high for performance. Free vs big bucks always catches my attention, so I decided when my subscription was finished with the paid version, I'd make the change.

Yesterday, I spent hours trying to contact the paid anti-virus company to cancel my subscription and make sure they did not go through with the automatic renewal. Didn't want that charge on my credit card. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say the company made what should have been a simple task into a monumental feat. Early this morning, I had success. Mission accomplished!

Next, I had to uninstall the old anti-virus program and then install the new one, which I had already downloaded and saved. (according to technology-gifted son's instructions). It took time, but it all went smoothly. I followed the directions given step by step. My blood pressure didn't go up. I didn't panic. The deed is done. The best part is that my computer is already showing signs of great happiness. It's running faster and I can almost see it smiling.

I wish the man who talked to me about my poor mechanical abilities could see me now. If I've learned nothing else, I know now that going step by step and not hitting the panic button are key factors in this techology world we live in. Come to think of it--that works in a whole lot of things!

1 comment:

  1. So much to learn, isn't there. While working, I was spoiled by having a tech person on hand to keep everything running smoothly. Now inch-by-inch I'm learning some of the needed computer skills to function independently.