This weekend brought a great deal of joy to the Perrone household. We were visited by my son, Matt, his wife, Stacy, and my beloved granddaughter, Abigail—and it was a wonderful visit. However, along with the joy, came the stark realization that if I’m not careful, I might fall behind in the technology department. Now, I know what some who know me are probably saying, “You? Fall behind? No way!” But they would be wrong. After all, I’m 70 and losing usable gray matter by the minute (aren’t we all?). Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, so let me put it in “computer speak”—my “desktop” is getting a bit crowded, and my RAM is almost used up.
About a year ago, I finally succumbed to family pressure and obtained a “smart phone.” To complicate matters, I got an iPhone. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the thing. No, I hate the thing. Wait, I love the thing. I hate the thing. Do you see where I’m going here? The good news is that I am tethered to all the important members of my family in every way possible—wirelessly, “Blue-Toothedly,” “Internetedly,” “FaceTimedly,” etc. Not only that, I can take a picture of a bowl of soup, and instantly show it to the world on Facebook™ and Twitter™. I can send a recipe to my daughters-in-law via text, and get an Emoji response in return. I can electronically visit with my stepson halfway across the world in Thailand, and view his hotel accommodations, live and in living color—and sometimes I can’t! That’s because, in spite of the fact that it’s “all good” (as my kids like to say), there are “issues.”
For instance, things begin to get a bit dicey when it comes to the picture “thing.” There are questions galore. Let’s start with PhotoStream™, Apple’s picture program for its computers:
- What exactly is PhotoStream™?
- How does it get from my iPhone™ to my computer?
- If I delete a picture from my computer (it’s all tied together, you know), will it disappear from my PhotoStream™, or worse yet, from my Facebook™ page?
- Can I share my PhotoStream™?
- Should I share it?
Then there’s iPhoto™ and those pesky “events,” that populate its page (or is it the “app,” or the “site?”). Again, there are questions:
- Is iPhoto™ on my iPhone™, or is it on my computer—or both?
- Can I change the name of an event without losing the pictures associated with it?
- Can I move pictures from one event to another without ending up with duplicates?
- What if I delete an event accidentally? Can I get it back?
- What do all those dates mean?
Are you beginning to get the picture (pun intended)? And that’s just the tip of the “technology iceberg.” Aside from the iPhone™ and its pictures, there are texts, Skype™, Dropbox™, iTunes™, iPod™, Spotify™, and so forth. The list of challenges to the old noggin’ is endless and constantly changing. I’m in way over my head and swimming as fast as I can, trying to stay afloat, but it’s a real struggle. Fortunately, I’m not alone. Most seniors are in the same fix. The good news (for me, at least) is that my son, Matt, is a former Apple “genius,” trained to help, so I have a built-in life preserver of sorts—and I use it (I mean, him) every chance I get. We spent a good deal of our weekend together with him addressing the myriad of questions I had about my iPhone™ and its relationship to iPhoto™.
So what is the message I’m trying to communicate? Perhaps it can best be expressed by an old saw: “Use it or lose it! In other words, don’t let the train leave the station without you. Jump on board and enjoy the ride. Hey, anybody know how I can change the playlists on my . . . ? (Oh, forget it! I’ll just ask Matt.)
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