“Look it up on the Google.”

My husband and I have been having fun saying this to each other ever since we heard it in a movie we watched over the Christmas holiday.

The movie was about four guys who have been best friends since they were kids some fifty years ago, and who are having a reunion in Vegas. As you can probably guess, the movie is a comedy, with much of the humor coming from age-related assumptions and misconceptions on both ends of the generation gap. And from cluelessness or limited experience that results in lines such as, “I looked it up on the Google.”

Since I’m a lot closer in age to the old guys than the young people in the movie, I could relate to much of what they said or were going through. This realization has put a slightly-uncomfortable spotlight on areas of my life where I feel somewhat old and outdated – the biggest one being technology.

Like many people, I spend much of my day in front of my computer, and I use the internet regularly for a multitude of reasons and purposes. I’m perfectly comfortable with this. Yet I find myself shaking in fear, frustration, or confusion whenever I see ads and commercials for the latest and greatest computers, laptops, and tablets. Not to mention phones, cameras, and televisions.  The technology is changing faster than I can keep up with it. And faster than I care to.

I long for the era when new equipment automatically came with readable manuals that explained how to put things together – if assembly was required – and how to use them once I got them up and running. I miss the days of knowing that if I spent the money to get a quality item – an appliance, tool, or accessory – it would last for years, and would not be obsolete or unusable by the time the next new-and-improved model came out. And I mourn the loss of our desire and ability to figure things out for ourselves when there’s something we want or need to know, instead of just Googling it.

But I’m showing my age again, I guess.

Seeing as it’s the New Year and all, I suppose now is the best time to force myself to change. So I’m making an active decision right now to admire, embrace, understand, and enjoy new technological equipment and advances as they become available. I will find and download the software to add wi-fi to my camera. I will learn and get comfortable with Windows 10. I will research the best option for wearing my diet and exercise program on my wrist, while hoping I’ll still be able to use my watch to tell time – just as I hope I will always be able to use my phone for conversations in which I am actually talking to people.

And I will keep reminding myself that I don’t need to fear the unknown, the untried, or the untested – even with regard to technology. If I come across anything that totally stumps me, I can always just look it up on the Google.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on January 7, 2016.
©Betty Liedtke, 2016

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