I never know just what to write about that sounds like it would be interesting to read.  That’s sort of sad for someone who writes books, huh?  Today it is technology that is on my mind and I suspect is something that most all of you are faced with for good or ill.

ELSA BAYLY cover photoLet me explain my situation.  The word DESPERATE comes to mind!  No, seriously, I am a non techie and past the age of those who were born with the mysterious knowledge of how to work this stuff.  I have over the years tried to use it for the basics of life like bill paying, bank account and other business accounts.  This is, no matter how upsetting and distasteful to you, important to minding your affairs in today’s world.  You would think it would be mostly senior citizens who refuse to even try to learn it but I am amazed at how many middle aged people shy away from anything but the basic requirements that their particular situation demands.  The requirements of our daily lives are gravitating to the internet and if we want to stay in control we better get on board.

The days of going into a brick and mortar building and meeting Mary face to face and saying, “Hello, Mary.  How’s Joe? (her husband).  And Mary says, “Oh, he’s fine, Johnny got an A in math.  What brings you in today?”  NOT A CHANCE!  Mary is gone to the great retirement (or unemployment) list in the computer somewhere, never to be visited with again.  So pull your head out from under the covers and suck it up and give it an honest try.  This is what I have learned over several years of crying, screaming, (both at an empty room and at condescending technicians at the end of a phone line marketed as “Help.”  Yeah, right.

When I started to write in earnest I had to make a choice.  Write with a pen and bury the product in a drawer   —  or  —  face the computer.  Almost everything now in the writing world is done on the computer.  I struggled every step of the way with all sorts of simple problems that often came back to my lack of basic computer skills.  I tried taking classes, some of them great.  The problem is that the workings of the computer are not something that can be mastered in a class.  If you aren’t using it you won’t remember it.  It is not something you learn all the facts and suddenly become computer literate.  You identify the thing you need or want to do and you log on.  You follow any instructions there are and when they don’t work you click on all the things that you can.  Some of them may work.  One of the secrets they don’t tell you is that they call various keys and functions by names that you will never in a million years connect to the function they do.  After all this you won’t have accomplished what you need to do but you will have learned one or two things that will stay with you.  Next stop is friends, family, coworkers, anyone that may be able to help you.  Don’t be bashful and don’t be afraid to ask.  The more you pick up on all of a sudden you will begin to see that it really isn’t that complicated once you get the hang of looking for the key to what you want to accomplish.  It all comes down to it being not a case of learning the computer but learning how to search for things.  And it does get easier, believe me.  If I can do it, anyone can.  So jump in and try.  As for me, I may even break down and get a fancy phone one of these days.  I have a fourteen year old granddaughter that is a whiz on hers so help is available.

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