A wave, a clap and a poke.
The digital age is a whole new world to me and most of my generation.
What is your password?…………those dreaded words. Somewhere in the hinterland of my early encounters with life on line, I was sure I was told to never tell anyone your password, do not write it down — well that clearly was not going to work, so I usually have a little book somewhere in a drawer with pages of thinly disguised passwords. The computer tricks you by not asking for your password for ages and then it springs it on you……….now lets see mother’s maiden name. The chap who helps me with my ancient computer was horrified by my choice of passwords. He told me that there were hackers out there who could easily work out my password and then helped me concoct one for my online banking that is so complicated that I always have to look it up. Now he knows it……aaarrh! He also warned me that my computer is likely to die at any moment as it is so old, as am I…….so if I suddenly disappear from sight it will either be me or my computer that has died. Will we then be up on the cloud? I think that is something else.
I was a complete technophobe who during the last few years in employment had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from paper files into the scary new paperless world. We were all issued with laptops, little gemalto keys that you had to insert in the side of your laptop, press the top and get a code to type into your computer. Three messed up attempts and you were locked out. We had to dream up endless unbelievably long and complicated passwords and keep changing them. I sometimes wondered if I was really working for MI5.
We were told we would be shot (well sacked anyway) if we left the laptop in the car or kept the laptop and the key together. We were expected to work on trains, in waiting rooms, when doing interviews if you could locate something called a wifi hotspot…..not sure I ever managed that. Making eye contact and typing on a laptop was something I never mastered. I think eye contact has been ditched.
The saving grace was the HELP desk. I was almost a daily user….well possibly more than that at times. I envisaged this huge room of people answering calls as ours was a national organisation and yet after a while the slightly weary voice would say before I could say who I was….. ‘is that Elizabeth?’ I could picture him or her pointing at the headphones and saying to those around…..its her again.
During a rant about the new technology to the chief executive he checked my usage of the help desk and said I had clocked up in excess of 300 calls in six months. I rather feebly responded — well you are getting your money’s worth then. The gratitude I felt at times to the help desk is indescribable. After a 40 page report that I had agonised over, spent hours of time and then somehow managed to lose it in the frigging laptop. But those magicians were nearly always able to find it.
Offices were a thing of the past, working at home is interpreted by my generation as shirking at home. Time to put the washing out, watch Wimbledon while writing a report but no one to talk to. no one to ask a question or moan to while loitering at the photocopier. The pluses and minuses evened out but when I had seen no colleagues for months I decided I would have to make the 60 mile round trip to the team meeting. The place was deserted , no one else had time to come and efforts to work in the office were thwarted when I realised that I had left my gemalto key (not with my laptop — tick) but in my other coat pocket at home….thirty miles away.
So this morning I managed to delete my google account….how did I do that? They are asking me for my password…..it is so long since I set up the account I have no idea. The little book isn’t helping — is it Bonso with a capital B and is it 1 2 or 3 at the end.
When I decided for the first time to post a reply to my new friend on facebook (yes, I seem to have one new friend following posting my blog). No I am not sure I mean following in that sense and I am pretty sure she won’t know either. I spent ages after writing the reply, staring at the screen, where do I click send ? After trying right click, left click I stumbled on the answer ….the return key….easy when you know how.
It is a world of likes, pokes…..what is a poke anyway, hope it is not what I think it might be ? ….waves and followers, fans even. I think I have one fan — no doubt someone feeling sorry for me. I read in the paper today about two well known celebrities that have been discovered buying followers……how sad is that. Thank god I am not a teenager — it must be agony for them glued to their phones 24/7 for approval.
But guys you just have to get with it or be left behind. Last week I said I wished people would stop posting pictures of cute dogs and yet this week I found myself sharing the picture of such a cute dog with its puppy but it was soooooo cute. See how far I have come in a week.
I think I will just have another look on facebook and see if I have any more waves.