18 November 2011

I can work the television remote now

I remember a time* when there was one remote -- just the one for our television set. Oh, and one for the VCR. You either watched TV or you watched a movie, and all you had to do for the latter was flip the TV to Channel 3.
*about 10 years ago
I knew how to do that. I could do that without a remote.

Then I went to college, and my freshman roommate in the dorm had a TV. The dorm had cable. Sometimes I watched it, as long as I didn't have to use any buttons besides power, and the channel and volume controls.

My sophomore roommate didn't have a TV and I didn't want one. I discovered online TV. I knew how to work a keyboard and a mouse. Simple. Life was good.

Then came the townhouse. My roommates in the townhouse my last two years of college were technical wizards. They knew how to work the Comcast Remote. They knew how to make the DVD player work, how to play with the Wii, and how to switch back and forth between DVD, Wii, and TV with ease and grace.

If I turned the TV on and pressed buttons and they didn't respond how I expected, I was quickly out of my depth. I could fiddle with the damn remotes** for three quarters of an hour to no avail, and the moment a roommate walked in, she'd have it right as rain in half a second. No matter how many times it was explained to me, I never fully grasped the elusive art of the Comcast Remote.
**Maybe I'm using the wrong one!
Two years, a house, and three new roommates later, I can proudly declare that I know how to work the cable remote!

I can make the TV turn on! I can make the cable turn on! I can switch effortlessly between cable TV, the DVD player, and the Wii. (I can't always make Netflix work properly on the Wii, but I suspect that's an issue with Netflix rather than with me.)

We have Verizon FiOS in my current abode, rather than Comcast, although as far as I know the remotes are basically the same. Maybe it really did simply take me six years to master the concept of the cable remote.***
***At 23, I am way too young to be having these kinds of technology-adoption problems.
But this isn't the only instance of my insanely steep technology learning curve.

I once texted my sister two years after getting a new phone: OH EM GEE THERE IS A CAPS LOCK BUTTON.

Yes, I had been manually shifting for each letter every time I wanted to text a word in caps. My sister, who had the same model of phone and got it at the same time, had known about the caps lock button for years.

I live in terror of the next technological advance. The cars that start without sticking the key in the ignition trigger my technology alarms. I just know that in five or six years, I'm going to be looking at cars and realize that they've evolved past my ability to understand how to operate.

And then I'll spend all my time sitting at home, reading books by candlelight. Because I won't be able to go anywhere, turn any electronic entertainment on, or operate the damn lights!

Now You!
Where are you on the technology learning curve? Do you pick it up with ease, or do you really have to work at it, like me? :D