By Whitley Clifton | January 9, 2020 11:59 am
These two words look like the title of a book predicting an unbelievable time. Have we really reached this futuristic-sounding year? It sounds like the score you hope to receive on your eye exam, not the numeral you must now learn to write on your checks. Like the documentary The March of Time that was shown weekly at The Dixie, time has done a lot of marching for me. Since the graduation year of 1953, I have lived in six states, spent 45 happy years with that boy from Arkansas, added three children, five grandchildren, and, yes, three great-grandchildren. The years have passed quickly, but It only takes a visit to Swainsboro to return to Shirley Proctor who lived on the corner of Church and Bell streets.
An old familiar saying has always told me that with age comes wisdom. I don’t think that took into account the difficulty of understanding the advanced technology of today. Now my car, my telephone, and even my watch is smarter than me. It is downright humiliating when I have to call a grandchild for help. The age seems to be advancing rapidly—but I am still waiting for the wisdom.
It is frustrating when I acquire a new product and cannot understand the instructions to assemble or put into use. I think back to the olden days when all you needed to know was off and on to operate a new tool. Now I muddle through the instructions with no luck, search for help on internet, and resort to calling upon a youngster who looks at me with disdain and easily fixes.
I do not wish to stop progress, for I would be “up the creek without a paddle” if I still had to manually change gears to drive, read a map to find my destination, defrost my refrigerator, or remember to wind my alarm clock.
In the early days of computers, I tried to avoid these new upstarts in my life. I fully believed that the novelty would wear off, and there was no need for me to waste my time trying to learn. Was I wrong or what?
I respected the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” When I was required to keep school records on this new-age technology, I learned new tricks. I am not a whiz or a geek—but I appreciate being able to write these columns, hit send, and The Blade receives them in minutes.
Welcome the new decade. This could the year that some maladies thought uncurable could be eliminated. Let us hope and pray.
I close with another favorite saying, “You gotta know when to turn the page.”
Shirley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.