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  • Writer's pictureeleanormallinson

The curse of technology

For some people the modern world of technology is a part of their everyday lives and some don't feel they can live without it. They know every social media site and spend hours a week watching videos online and even making them too. Technology makes things easier and quicker and people love it.

For me, technology has always been more of a curse than a love.

I'm sure, realistically, technology doesn't have its own mind that is working against me, but sometimes that is exactly how it feels. If there is something that can crash and decide not to work, then it most likely will for me. At work I've often been delivering workshops with tech that seems to never have a fault for anyone else, but the moment I run the workshop it decides it is having a bad day.

Maybe technology picks up on my fears?

I'll confess I am very wary of the modern technology which spies on you, such as tracker cookies that see what you're looking at and target you with advertising linked to that very same topic. It makes me nervous. Maybe I've watched too much science fiction growing up, but I believe in the dangers of technology controlling everything and see the potential of this seemingly far-fetched idea becoming true.

My house is fairly void of technology (we don't even have a dish washer) and other than a few basics, TV, DVD player, washing machine and computer, there really isn't a lot else. I don't have smart TV's, just regular ones, and if someone asks me if I've seen "XYZ on Netflix" the answer is always no. I live in the middle of the countryside. It's idyllic at times, but also a dead zone for internet access. Currently I have to use my phone to hotspot any time I want to go online because our internet never works. It doesn't help right now that a tractor and trailer broke our over-the-road phone lines last week so no connection, but it didn't work before that anyway most of the time. No amount of Wifi boosters can create signal if it wasn't strong enough in the first place, and out here, the only fibre we know comes in breakfast cereal form. 5G? Try internet so slow you can't even run a speed checker because it's too slow for the speed checker to load properly.

This is the way I live and usually I make do, however I am suddenly in a terrifying situation. From next week I have to deliver remote group singing lessons...

Wonderful! Not only is my internet so shockingly bad it causes me a few annoying delays, but now my job may depend on it. I'm certain I'm going to get lag which should make singing interesting and that's assuming I can get online at all.

The email address I have to use for this job didn't work last year and now I face the joyous and 'oh so familiar' problems of trying to get it fixed. Firstly, I can't log in to the system because my email has been blocked and locked, but worse than that I need to speak to the IT department to get it fixed... problem is, you can't get the number for IT unless you can log in...

Is anyone else thinking the same as me? What idiots design these systems?

Presumably the same ones that have online help books which deal with the topic of 'I can't get online'... ?

And the same ones that tell you you don't exist on a certain site when you try to log in to your account:

Password incorrect... (try the other five variations involving symbols, capitals, numbers etc. trying to remember how long ago you created the account in the first place and how complicated the password is likely to be)

Would you like to send a reminder to your e-mail? (let's try that, or at least change it so I can log in) E-mail not recognised... (what? oh, so maybe I don't have a password after all? maybe I didn't create an account?)

Create account... (OK. Let's do that)

you cannot create an account with an e-mail which already exists... (???????? BUT YOU SAID FIVE SCREENS AGO...!)

Take a deep breath and resist the urge to throw the computer across the room.

On the plus side I've managed to ask a colleague to send me the number for IT support and I'll just have to cross my fingers that this will work and let me back in. I can see a few weeks of challenging lessons coming up. With a bit of luck I might master the remote teaching just in time to go back to work in person.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has so much 'fun' when it comes to the working of a digital age and I have to wonder how many other people are out there, sighing right now, as they attempt to navigate through the world of technology and are they as lost as me?

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