My mom bought a Smart TV for the holidays, and I was given the task of training her in how to use it. I could barely figure it out myself! First you click on this menu, then you click on that menu. Then you enter your password, and search for the right icon. It’s like the TV was designed by nerds. I want a TV designed by moms.
Here’s an experiment: change the channel on your TV, and count the number of seconds it takes for the channel to change. 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand, 4 . . . sometimes it takes five seconds for that channel to change. Isn’t that weird? Back in the 90s, I remember changing the channel and *BAM!*, you’d be onto the next station as soon as you hit the button. Click, click, click! That’s when channel surfing actually felt like surfing. Now it just feels like drowning.
Another thing I hate about TVs today is that you need three remote controls just to watch one TV. One to turn on the TV, another to turn on the cable, and one more for the sound system. I’ve walked into some houses that have five remotes on their coffee table. My poor mom in Minnesota has to call me in Hawaii just to figure out how to watch TV. “No mom, not the black remote, use the grey one. It’s the button on the upper left!”
As long as we’re on the subject, you know what I really find annoying? Blinking lights. It seems like every gadget that comes out these days has to have a gleaming blue light on it. Have you ever tried to sleep in a room with any sort of technology in it? Even if all the devices are off, the room glows like a Christmas tree. I don’t know about you, but I like it to be completely pitch black when I sleep. But my bedroom has eleven glowing lights in it. Some of them are so bright, it casts a neon glow on the wall. If I’m sleeping, and I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I see a spectacle of blinking lights that makes me think I’m in the middle of an airport runway.
One more thing I find annoying about technology today is digital cameras. Yes, they are wonderful, and beautiful, and you can store a million pictures. But that’s the problem. People who love to take pictures just go bonkers. I don’t actually like taking pictures, so if I’m with someone with a digital camera, I have to take pictures over and over. Sometimes I stand there smiling for hours, while they try to get the picture juuust right. They can take 80 pictures of me in the same pose! Sometimes they want you to take a picture of them – over and over. “Oh, my hair didn’t look right, let’s do another.” It takes forever.
It used to be that you took one picture and you moved on with your life. There would only be 24 pictures on a roll, and those rolls took time to develop. So it was a lot more work for the person who owned the camera. Now it’s just more work for everyone else.
Overall, yes I’m very happy about technology getting better. And cheaper! It’s pretty neat to live in a time where we can actually Skype and call, and do just about everything we can think of with our machines. But sometimes I miss the quickness and simplicity of the old machines. Taking a picture with a Polaroid camera was so cool. As soon as you pushed the button, the camera would flash. And a picture would come right out of the camera, and you could give it to a friend. Maybe the machines weren’t as smart, but they sure were friendlier back then.