Technology is like a spouse. You can’t live with it. You can’t live without it. It can be wonderful, then temperamental. It can purr like a cat and do what you ask. Then it can be stubborn as a mule, refusing to do anything. It’s a great thing to have, but it can be a pain in the anatomy.
The only difference between technology and a spouse is that if you throw a computer out the window, no one gets hurt, unless of course you’re tossing it from your tenth story apartment window to a crowded street below. If you were to throw your spouse out that same window, you would no doubt be arrested for murder, and your story would make headlines across the country, so I don’t advise doing that, either.
I was never tempted to throw my late husband out the window. The only time I ever felt compelled to throw technology out the window was when I had my iPad years ago.
I never could get the hang of gestures, and even with the Bluetooth keyboard, it was clunky. With my visual impairment, I could have used some hands-on training, but that wasn’t available here in Wyoming, at least not at a price I could afford. Instead, I flicked it, clicked it, and then bopped it into oblivion. Actually, that’s not true. I just quit using it after several months, but my first way of putting it does sound more dramatic, doesn’t it?
The good thing about technology is that it won’t tell you to lose weight or threaten to take the bedroom door off its hinges if you close it one more time like my late husband did. Please don’t get me wrong. Bill was not an abusive man. He had his ideas, and I had mine, and we didn’t always agree, like any married couple. That said, technology won’t be upset if you two don’t always feel the same way.
Also, when you want to establish a permanent relationship with a computer or other device, you don’t have to send out invitations and pick out a dress, cake, flowers, etc. Replacing a computer or other device is less costly and painful than divorcing an old spouse and marrying a new one. If something happens to your computer, just call in a repairman. There are no late-night flights to bigger and better hospitals, no waiting and wondering if your computer will ever be the same, at least most of the time.
After Bill’s stroke, we had six happy years together, even though he couldn’t do much for himself and depended on me for everything. You can read about our adventurous married life in My Ideal Partner. Now that Bill is gone, though, I think I’ll stick to relationships with my computer, Braille tablet, cell phone, and book reader. They’re not as much of a pain in the anatomy as marriage can be.
How do you feel about this? Do you think living with a piece of technology can be just as difficult as living with a spouse? I’d love to know your thoughts, that is, if your technology doesn’t decide to be temperamental when you want to share them.
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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