Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Programming VCRs

One of the differentiating features of our generation was whether or not one was able to reprogram the clock on a VCR. However, I would imagine that the marker of technological skill has expanded to include being able to use a computer or cellphone, or being able to discern the mess behind a TV or a desktop computer.

And these are all skills that I have. And I take pride in the fact that I am able to hook up a DVD player to a TV - even though it only takes a HDMI cable, and the HDMI cable only fits in ports designed for it...

But what I wonder is: will there be a time when I will be included in the generation of the know-not-hows. Will I be able to keep up with what I have learned and stay ahead of the curve, or will I discover that the young whippersnappers with their gizmos and what-cha-ma-bobs are completely complicated and inaccessible?

On the other hand, perhaps there is some skill that is learned once, regarding technology, and every other technological device acts in accordance to our knowledge.

Maybe it is a little bit of both. When things are new and you have no idea what they are, then usually it is confusing and mind boggling. Like when you get a new phone and all the button combinations are new and misleading - sometimes. But then you use your phone for a week (or a day, or a year - depending on what part of the learning curve you are on) and you realize you are ready to text message your friend by motor-memory. But then again, maybe we have the ability to explore and "fail" and realize that "failing" technology means that you set the VCR clock incorrectly, not that you activated a self destruct timer on your TV...

So I have hope that I have some innate ability to explore and learn - which is really the essence of technological knowledge. Which gives me hope that when future devices come along that I have no experience with, I will learn, and fail, but eventually understand.

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