I bought a new iPhone, a significant upgrade from my six-year-old version. I was excited to dive into all the new features and use the much improved camera to capture the beauty of the immerging spring.
Until I got the error message “Your device is not activated. Contact your provider if the problem persists.” Uggh. I switched it off and rebooted, a little trick I learned long ago. But this time it failed me. Same error message.
I went online to research simple fixes and was soon spiraling down the rabbit hole of word search after word search, none of which addressed my issue in a language, or at a skill level, I possessed. So I did as I was instructed, and made an appointment with the provider to let their technician resolve the problem.
Was it frustrating? Yes. Did I miss the familiarity of my old, trusty, but slow and antiquated, model? Yes. But staying stuck in the past was not an option. A modern phone is too important to me. So, I bore the feelings of ineptness, and asked for help.
I realize this is going to happen over and over as I age and as technology moves ahead, at what seems to be an ever increasing speed around me. My website needs updating. I have to learn how to post Instagram videos to provide relevant content and in order to maintain a significant online presence so my work is discovered by more women like you, who might enjoy and benefit from my observations. Really, I have no choice.
But there is more to this than just being up on the latest social media trends or having the newest model phone with a fancy camera. Much more.
Staying current means:
Our brains continue to regenerate and build connection with each attempt to learn something new. We’ve all heard that learning a different language is beneficial to keeping our minds sharp and our memories active.
Technology has a language all its own: terabytes, Wi-Fi, and virtual connectivity are terms that didn’t even exist for most of our adult lives, but they do now and in order to communicate in a modern world we will have to translate and comprehend them. And doing so has its related benefits.
Concepts are processed in a completely different area of our brains than art and emotion. Continuing to develop it will require exercise. Just like we exercise and stress other muscles to keep them strong, thinking differently will strengthen our brains and keep them nimble in order to learn more and more concepts as they come along. The more we do, the more we will be able to do.
When I get frustrated, I want to swear, throw things and give up. I hate the feeling of not having previous experience and honed skills to troubleshoot and resolve computer problems. But I also realize these frustrations are not limited just to technology.
As our brains and bodies grow older, we will be faced with all kinds of frustrations, and learning how to face them, and staying committed until we overcome or adapt to them, will be a valuable experience we can fall back on one day.
There will be times when we just can’t figure it out on our own, like my issue with a stubborn cell phone. I had no other choice than to make an appointment, face a young person who I suspected may have been just as frustrated to deal with yet another oldster who was struggling to keep up.
But I overcame the embarrassment and showed up. I took my notes outlining the steps I had already taken and had all my passwords available to make the process as painless as possible for us both. And it wasn’t that terrible. I got my needs met. And ultimately, that’s the point.
We are going to have to ask for support many times over the coming years and learning how to do it, while still maintaining our dignity, is an important communication skill, best developed sooner rather than later, while we’re still talking about technology and not health and well-being issues.
Communication and how humans connect is developing in unfamiliar ways. At first, we might feel resistant to participate, but we also need to realize we’re not running this show any longer. A new generation is driving this innovation, and if we want to have a place at the table, it’s up to us to show up.
I’ve decided I’m staying in the game. I know it’s hard, but lots of things are. I believe this is worth it.
What technology frustrations have you faced? Do you ask for help when necessary or is this your last resort? What does technology mean to you these days – is it a need or a want?