Technology makes everything better — until it doesn’t
Technology is both ubiquitous and intricately integrated into our professional and personal lives. My cell phone is my alarm clock, notepad, communication device, entertainment, scrapbook device and camera. My laptop is the place where I spend hours each day writing, emailing, calendaring and helping kids with school.
The point of all this is to make our lives easier, and I get that. But there are times when technology gives us an error message, a never-ending spinning circle or a really harsh bzzzzz.
It’s those instances that send me into a very unattractive moment of crazy.
Last Friday, my work email was hit with some sort of spam epidemic, and in the span of three days I received more than 2,000 emails. Two thousand! The constant ding, ding, DING of emails arriving to my laptop, iPad and phone fried my nerves. Additionally, and also unfortunately, as I deleted spam, I also deleted actually important emails — you know, for work.
During this email quarrel, I also fought with my iPad trying to free up storage space for my son’s iMovie school project. I plugged my iPad into our home computer, unchecked everything I did NOT want on my iPad and pressed sync. Thirty minutes later, not only did I still have all the apps, songs, and pictures I thought I had deleted, but I added 30 additional apps. After this happened three times, actual tears welled in my eyes.
During the course of last weekend, I accidentally deleted files and videos from my Dropbox and Google drives. I unknowingly created an extra Google Drive account and then locked myself out of it. I tried to set the privacy settings on my Twitter and Prezi accounts only to publish a few presentations to Google instead. I branched out to Apple Pages only to save my project as an un-editable PDF— all by Monday.
I can still feel the indentations on my forehead from focusing so hard on my laptop as I willed it to complete my tasks.
As the universe would dictate, May is the month of end-of-year school projects and reviews. My kids have been assigned Google Slide Projects, iMovies, website design, etc. You name it and we are digitally creating it around here.
As we tried to finish their projects, we ran into issues uploading pictures to iMovie, uploading iMovies to the network, downloading iMovies from the network, adding voiceover to the iMovie, cropping pictures in iMovie, filming in iMovie, saving to the camera roll, speeding up video, slowing down video, adding color to still photos, adding text to still photos, adding text to videos, and on and on and on.
Once we problem-solved one issue, another would crop up, and then sometimes the solution for a problem on a previous occasion did not solve the problem for another occasion. Networks crashed. Programs crashed. Batteries died. Microphones turned static. I cried. They cried. We all cried (and wished for ice cream). At one point (on three separate times) I was sitting cross-legged on the floor with one of my kids, both of us looking at the iPad, and looking at each other simply throwing out random technology words like reboot, reload, integrate, mp4 file, mov file, and rain. Yes, rain. In one moment, we just looked out the window, shrugged our shoulders, and blamed the rain.
Then yesterday afternoon, my youngest child and I schooled the 15-year-old. We were again working with video trying to double the speed, and insert the video back into iMovie, an effect we desperately wanted to master. We downloaded, re-recorded, uploaded and stomped our feet. Then something special happened: Yours truly thought to rename the file, solving the problem.
I feel like I should get some kind of award, certificate, post-graduate degree or national prize. Regardless, I’ve added Technology Genius to my resume. I’m sure I’ll hit another technology wall soon enough, but for now I’m riding high on this wave of Technology Master. I think I can go to bed feeling accomplished and ready to tackle a new week — as soon as I can find my iPhone charger.