The Technology Isn’t Working, Can You Help?

I have a couple of mottos I live by. One is:

It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters how you act.

Saturday, I had an Olympic level challenge for this particular virtue. I didn’t medal. Ugh!

So, I had carved out some time to make art. I was doing it; I was listening to music and drawing. You might associate that activity with me but it’s actually really hard for me to draw before 5pm because of responsibilities. And here it was not even afternoon teatime and the markers were out and it was happening! A very pleasant half hour ensued.

Then my cell phone rings. It’s mom. She’d texted earlier that she couldn’t log into Facebook. Though I’d called her right back she is only now returning my call to help. Two and a half hours later I abandon my drawing and hustle to the kitchen. I am late starting dinner. As I chop onions, I review what just happened. I suck! Was I really just that mean to mom? Did I really use that tone of voice? What is wrong with me?

I’m not gonna belabor the plot synopsis of this play because it’s one we’ve all seen. It’s a play we’ve all performed. We’ve all been cast in both roles, the technological idiot and the person trying to help the idiot. The play sucks and everyone hates it. And yet the play has run nonstop for decades. It’s called The Technology isn’t Working, can you help? I know I’ve never felt so helpless as when I am in the idiot role. I mostly only know what I know now because of the number of times I’ve had to play the idiot. Part of the frustration of that role is you don’t know what you don’t know. Hard to be specific about ignorance.

On that note, the reason it’s so difficult to help my mom is because she doesn’t know the simplest terms. She doesn’t know if she is accessing Facebook through a browser or an app. I tried to zoom with her so I could see what she was seeing but she only had her phone so she couldn’t screen share. I tried to transfer her to her laptop, but she doesn’t know her log in password. I have it. She’s in. But it’s useless because she doesn’t know the Wi-Fi password. Cascading problems. I am feeling so much anxiety. Let’s just try to deal with one at a time. Let me ask some questions to get the information I need to understand the problem.

Do you know what a browser is, yes or no?

The screen says…

No mom, just yes or no, do you know what a browser is? Do you know what that term means?

When I click on the…

Mom! Mom! Stop! Please just answer me with a yes or no.

She can’t. I don’t know why. But I have to listen to reams of gobbledygook to try and parse the information I need. It makes me physically upset and my tone of voice stops being the way I want it to be.

Somehow, I do get her back into Facebook. I feel like I just got a Nobel prize. I am so proud of myself. I gave her a stern lecture about passwords and we hang up.

While still taking an arrogant bow at the end of the play for being the person who solved the riddle, the curtains immediately raise on a new play called You are a Terrible Daughter! What’s Wrong with You?

My mother has done so much for me. How many times has she stopped what she was doing to help me? Too many to count. I could never repay her with my time. I have to see helping her as a privilege, not as a roadblock. I call her back, apologize for being not so nice. She doesn’t care, she loves me, and she got her Facebook back. If I am going to medal in the next round, I need to improve my workout. I need to remember to be grateful in the moment of difficulty. I need to tattoo that motto on my arm.

13 thoughts on “The Technology Isn’t Working, Can You Help?

  1. I feel your pain. My mom refuses to have a computer in the house. Only a few short years ago, did she get a cell phone and discovered texting and now that is primarily how she wants to talk to me. (ugh) but, she is miserable at anything else, accessing on the phone. She doesn’t want an email, so I did a second one for me and got her a facebook account, but she doesn’t get it. And doesn’t want to, but then complains that everyone else knows what’s going on with her grandkids because I post things and she has to hear about it from her best friend. I’m like, because she’s on Facebook! My stepdad is a little more receptive, which is not saying much. Anyway, feel free to come visit my blog and we can commiserate together. Hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandi! Sounds like you have some Olympic level tech challenges of your own! Bizarrely on point to the theme here, I tried to go to your blog and got an error message that the site could not be found. I will try again later today. I would love to check it out.


      1. That works! Thanks! Not sure why wordpress wasn’t taking me there. I will check it out! I usually try to stay within wordpress because the like button works for me within the app and not when I am out of it. So if I am not able to “like” anything it’s not for lack of trying!


      2. I stay in wordpress too – When I do those various writing “challenges” – I visit other blogger sites and comment on their post for that subject UNLESS they are outside of WordPress. It’s too much of a pain to try and comment on Blogger etc.

        Liked by 1 person

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