Computer Savvy At 91? Who Me?

About 10 years ago a good friend, who I totally respected and who is publishing a book on his philosophy of living called "Presence Is Power" (love the title), told me that if I didn't get a computer there was no way I could keep up, understand, or live in this world of electronics. After a year of his encouragement, I gave in and bought an Apple desktop computer.

When I set it on my drafting table, it was quite impressive looking. Beyond looking so impressive to me, it was a completely mysterious object. Even the keyboard was a zero. I have never put a finger on a typewriter. To this day, every word I write has to be in long hand on a legal pad. Then transferred to this magical instrument. This is 10 years later and I can proudly email, send attachments and understand my own Facebook page, that my publicist puts together.

Just recently I learned how to shut down this amazing and frightening machine. This is a serious problem to a 91 year old: How to deal with, enjoy and successfully handle the Internet. I am truly helpless and I suspect I am not alone in this dilemma. I can print my blogs without difficulty. But when a sentence or a paragraph jumps into a space I did not intend, I am lost as to how to retrieve it. This is not happiness, it's complete frustration. I am totally aware that first graders handle the computer with complete dexterity. That's when I feel 91 is not just a number! It's reality. It helps, if I stand on my head for five minutes, jump rope for three minutes, and dance tango with amazing agility. Then 91 is just a number.

I honestly try to comprehend this magical instrument, which does absolutely everything with the exception of finding where I put my keys or determining why I opened the refrigerator door. I honestly think I'm pretty aware at my age, but this instrument gives me real doubts. Will I ever type with all 10 fingers? You must be kidding! I'm still a one-finger phenomenon and I just mastered "shut down."

Tell me, does anyone write real letters? Have we lost physical touch? Eye contact, what about the scent of perfume or even a personal scent? Apple and others already have a wristwatch that does everything. Except let you know it's time to pee!

Well I have to admit, I just discarded my desktop computer and gave in to a laptop MacBook Air. It's so beautiful, silver. If it were my size I could wear it. It's sitting on my drafting table and I have never moved it from that spot. I know it's supposed to be portable. I see people walking around with it under their arms. It's become the cell phone attached to your body. Don't understand that either.

Never mind, my amazing instrument is the piano. And I'm capable of making beautiful sounds on those black and white keys. With all 10 fingers. I also sing and speak with my very own instrument. So at 91, I continue yoga, tango, jump rope and my newest toy and thrill skydiving! I do write emails daily, so yes I'm improving and yes one finger. And yes with the spell check (love that tool.) Only one thing that drives me crazy, I click on Facebook, but what comes up is not Facebook, but "you are not connected to the internet." Oh yes, I am connected to the Internet! Now I need the voice on the telephone, which I have trouble understanding to guide me through the solution of how to get rid of this nasty picture. That's when I learn about "SHUT DOWN" and that little tiny, tiny apple icon in the upper left hand corner of my screen. Never saw that apple before! Oh please someone save me from this helpless feeling!

There's an expression, it's called Computer Savvy. It is not yet in my vocabulary.
I want it! I REALLY WANT IT!

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

Phyllis Sues