I was trying to chat with my niece on the Internet. As I struggled to trace and strike the right alphabet keys to communicate with her, irritated at my miserably slow speed , my niece wrote, “Bua, so gaye kya?”(Aunt, have you gone off to sleep?) No, I had not dozed off. In fact, despite my best effort, I was not able to match up with her speed. I must admit I was painfully slow.
It is a fact that today’s techno-savvy generation which has grown up with the computers, adapts to the new technology like fish to water. But for me, learning to operate computer has been an uphill task. Any time, anywhere I would get stuck and lose patience. In desperation, I would start calling my children to help me out of the logjam. But before coming to my rescue they would offer me a sound piece of advice, “Mummy, why don’t you try? Computer is so user-friendly. …..manage yourself.” What a role reversal! All along I had been advising my children to learn and understand on their own; now they tutor me the same. They tell me if I can understand intricate economic theories, why I can’t follow simple commands given by the computer. I have no valid explanation. I can not help but feel small.
It is not just the computer but all the gizmos, which the young generation is crazy about, un-nerve me. The fancy mobiles with umpteen features which are flooding the market today may entice the Generation X but to me they are rather intimidating. I understand mobile today is a ‘small wonder’, capable of doing whole lot of things –from chatting, sending messages, playing games, listening to music to booking tickets and internet banking and a lot more. But for me, a mobile is just an instrument for making and receiving calls. Frankly, even writing a text message is not my cup of tea. I find it quite taxing and time consuming. I would much rather make a call than send a text message. Also I have no qualms in admitting that SMS vocabulary baffles me. I get puzzled by the short forms where ‘you’ is ‘u’ and ‘to’ is ‘2’.
In fact, a new mobile with even slight variation in operational mechanism can be a major irritant for me. No wonder, instead of being thrilled at the prospect of acquiring a new mobile set, I get nervous. I want to cling to my old set as the new one with a different mechanism frustrates me. I remember on my birthday, my son gifted a ‘touch screen’ mobile set to me but the new cell phone left me completely drained at the end of the day. Every now and then the widgets would make a vanishing trick. Any accidental touch while talking would end the call unceremoniously. I wonder why at all there should be smart keys of the touch screen when the simple keys can do a neat job. I wish mobile companies spare some thought for my generation of techno-(un) savvy people that aspires to acquire ‘decent’ mobiles, but with simple basic functions.
Published in the Tribune on 25 June 2012