Is My Tech Dating Me?

By Anthony Buccino

Any workout I have to do with my antique walker will be
rolling away the storage carts in front to get
to the boxes stored on the green roller mat
to try to wrangle some more space
for my stuff under the basement stairs

Modern abacus, circa 1960s - the ADDIATORI'm not so sure I should continue my subscription to The Wall Street Journal Weekend. The latest issue in a feature by Matthew Kitchen Is Your Tech Dating You? marks me as an old fogey when it comes to technology.

I'm the guy the family calls when they need help with their phone or getting their new printer to talk to their old laptop, or backing up the digital photos from their smart phone. How can my technology possibly be dating me?

They say I should replace my iPad with an iPhone 13 Max Pro (from $1,099). I can barely wend my way around the apps I have now as quickly as my granddaughter switches between Disney-Plus and YouTube Kids. I don't think we need fancier and faster and, well, maybe a bigger screen would be nice.

They tend to mock folks with a Garmin sucking the windshield. Well, we upgraded to Magellan a few years ago. But that's not good enough anymore, they say. I need to use an app on my phone. Don't they know my iPhone doesn't work while I'm driving? I get the DriveWise discount!

Dusty old rowing machines are out of date, says this young whipper-snapper Mr. Kitchen. I'll have you know we have a walking contraption that has not only a headset (somewhere) but an AM/FM cassette player to listen to while you walk your daily walk on the green rotating mat. Why should I jump on the video exercise classes like Peloton offers?

The article suggests I junk my antique and opt for the next best thing after what you see in those TV commercials. I should consider a 'smart rower' at around $2,200 to $2,700 that "touts a similar screen as the Peloton for guided workouts."

PowerPlus Walker doubles as movablel storage unitAny workout I have to do with my antique walker will be to the boxes stored on the green roller mat to try to wrangle some more space for my stuff under the basement stairs. I may need to call a friend as I may need a hand with that.

It seems my thermostat is only mildly dating me. My presets temp drops and rises aren't good enough. I need to spend $250 on a Google Nest Learning Thermostat. Really, Google already knows way too much about me.

My wired earbuds are also faux pas. Well, let me tell you something, my iPod has my favorite music on it and if I ever go walking again, I'm going to use the wired earbuds!

Even my home's door locks are out of date. I should switch to Smart Locks. Ever try to use electronics when the power is down, or when you have the blue screen of death? And you're at death's door with Jason chasing you and your Smart Lock suddenly gets stupid? I'll stick with my old-fashioned keys, please.

The one thing they say is hip that I'm up on, dude, is the Magnetic Strip Credit Cards. But it's only because my cards were hacked and that's how the replacements came through.

Bissell vacuum cord wrap with a flairI've never had to ask a friend to charge my phone for me. First of all, my friends are mostly more prehistoric tech-wise than I am. Second of all, I try never to be far away from home long enough for my phone to run down. Since they first arrived on the scene, I've kept a charged power stick in my backpack. I also got a solar-powered charger when I renewed my NRA membership. So, as long as there's sunshine, I should be good.

My goodness, how can they attack corded vacuums? Who knew wrapping up the cord to the vacuum could ever be such a chore? I think of it as a challenge. Do I swirl the cord, or ring it around? Should I consult my retired fire chief cousin on the proper way of wrapping a fire hose and a vacuum hose? For $400, I can get a Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner. I'll wait until the vacuum arrives that simply zaps dust, dirt, and grime into fresh air so I'll never need to empty a bag of dust, dirt, and grime.

As if I'm not neo-Luddist enough, even my digital etiquette is out of date!

According to Mr. K, I should simply hyper-link text instead of sending the URL.  Well, even for me that's a no-brainer if I can cut and paste and link in the app. I can't get that to work on my iPad or my iPhone. I'm sure it's quite simple but my three-year-old granddaughter won't show me how.

As for skipping the paper menu - lockdown or not - they say I should use the QR codes on my phone. Like Rocky says to Bullwinkle, that trick never works.

WSJ says I should trash my microwave manual and just watch YouTube videos on how to use it. My microwave is OLDER than YouTube, so I'd be surprised if the model or the manual has a companion video. In fact, our microwave is so old, the box's cooking directions are always wrong.

Charge three thingies at the same time with USB SUPER charger

I do have a Pandora music subscription. But I forget to access it. When I'm home I simply listen to my burned CDs on my PC. Who has time to download a music app and sort through millions of songs to find the ones I already like? And "while more than 10 million people have hopped off Pandora," I stopped because I would choose an artist to hear that artist's songs and they played other artists. My PC doesn't do that to me.

Dig your favorite playlist from your cassette days, or the AM/FM radio!

Lastly, WSJ says I shouldn't use an ATM to reimburse a friend. Well, Shakespeare said, neither a borrower nor a lender be, so not having friends cuts that list both ways. Heck, I was one of the last people to use an ATM (I shan't name the spouse who is the last), so switching to an APP like Venmo or CashApp ain't gonna happen on my wireless contraption. Unless my granddaughter insists.

 2021 by Anthony Buccino


Anthony Buccino





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New Jersey author Anthony Buccino's stories of the 1960s, transit coverage and other writings earned four Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism awards.

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