Take a Byte!

Volume 6, Number 2

Technology. You got love it, or be left in the dust! Keeping up with buzzwords of high tech terminology, lingo and web jargon is enough to stall any mature brain! Here’s a fun look at a phone dialogue between a “golden-age-r” and a young computer helpline associate:

Tech: “Good morning, ma’am, how may I help you?”

Woman: “My PC is running very slow.”

Tech: “OK, how long has it been since you’ve cleaned your desk top?”

Woman: (quiet at first) “Well, now, that’s something I haven’t done in a long time.”

Tech: “I understand, ma’am. That’s probably a good reason why your computer is working slowly because you haven’t cleaned off your desk top in a while.”

Woman: “Really? Wow. OK, let me see what I can do. (She puts the phone down, gets up from the computer and starts removing pencils, books, coffee cups, papers, trays, and pictures off of the top of her desk and then, using furniture polish, removes the dust.)

Tech: “Ma’am, where are you? How’s it going? Have you removed all the items from your desk top?”

Woman: (out of breath, picking up the phone) “Yes, I have, but . . .”

Tech: (interrupting) “OK, now before shutting down your computer, close all your windows and restart.”

Woman: (silent and confused, she gets up from the computer desk again, pulls down the sashes of the windows and closes the blinds in the room.) “OK, I’m not really sure what closing the windows will do, but I did it.”

Tech: “Great. Now restart your computer and you should be good to go. But before you do that, have you emptied your trash recently?”

Woman: (another pause) “Yes I believe we have. In fact, I think my husband emptied it first thing this morning.” (Yelling into the other room) “Ralph! Did you empty the trash today?” (Ralph yelling back from the other room) “Yes, dear. Sure did. Filled the can right up!”

Woman: (talking to the tech) “Did you hear that?”

Tech: “Yes ma’am, I heard him. If he filled the trash again without emptying it, there’s your problem. A full trash can slows your computer down if it’s not emptied permanently.

Woman: “Hmm. Interesting. This is crazy. I guess I never thought how housekeeping and basic computer upkeep is so similar!”

Tech: “That’s right. A healthy computer—with trash emptied, closed windows, with no bugs, spam or virus—will work amazingly well for a long time.”

Woman: “Oh goodness! I definitely don’t want bugs! And I’ve never had a taste for Spam either. That would definitely end up in the trash! We quit eating by the computer ever since my neighbor told me his PC had bugs and a new mouse. He got sick with a bad virus too right after his awful crash on the information highway. He had to be hospitalized because someone hacked him with a ram, a web or net or something and he’s never been the same since. Later he said his PC got toasted from a fire wire and he needed an Apple, but I never saw crumbs, ashes, cores or anything while cleaning his house. Ralph said his status is no good. Can’t talk. All he can do now is make a tweet. It’s such a sad story. I’m thankful I got you on the line instead of all those other hard-to-understand tech types. The last guy told me to cut and paste something and boy, did I ever make a mess! Thanks a lot.”

It’s so much fun for me to intersect the old with the new. Good comedy (so I’m told!) is the ability to look at real life and real circumstances, giving your audience or readers the chance to see themselves in your humor. Tell me the truth—don’t you know at least one person who “just doesn’t get it” (and brags about it) when it comes to computer technology? I especially love those who pontificate, as if they’re sporting some sort of archaic holy badge of honor when they say, “I couldn’t be bothered with all that computer/Facebook/Twitter junk.” Thank you, because you’re giving me more hilarious material to work with! (And they’re usually the ones who, at an earlier stage in their lives, made fun of cell phones too!)

Here’s the byte:

1. If you really want to learn to be computer savvy, countless courses are available at senior centers and community colleges, with adult elective opportunities in many counties and states. Many classes are free.

2. Give young people in your church a creative way to “connect” with seniors: Have a special event/class/feature where the “kids” can teach the “older kids” the ropes of computer and social media familiarity. Wow, what a bonding relevant experience for all!

3. Learning the basics of Facebook, Twitter and blogging are popular these days even with mature types. Encourage and welcome technology as a form of outreach! Toni Birdsong and Tami Heim’s new book, @stickyJesus (Digital Scribe Press) will blow you away with social media creative evangelism, “awakening believers everywhere to the astonishing mission field now at their fingertips.”

“Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands” (Isaiah 43:19, The Message).

Follow Sue and Laugh Lines on the National AG Womens Ministries site.


Toni Birdsong said...

This is hilarious "....she starts removing pencils, books, coffee cups, papers, trays, and pictures off of the top of her desk."

What an encouragement. I'd only add that the "difficulty" of learning this stuff is kind of an illusion. It's not as hard as the "terminology" makes it sound. Companies coming up with applications know that the more "intuitive" their software, platform, or application is, the more users they will attract. So, that's a goal of developers. Be encouraged! Jump in and do a little learning everyday -- in 2-3 months, you'll be a pro!

Thanks for the www.stickyJesus.com shoutout, Sue!

Sue Duffield said...

Good word, Toni! You're the girl! My Annie works for Apple and says the iPad is a real hit with those that have little computer experience too. And I so agree - it's an illusion to think we can't learn! I'm encouraged by that AND you! : )