Friday, 4 March 2016


This is my sad face, complete with overhead cloud of DOOM.

Last month, I decided that I'm no longer going to fret over the things I'm not very good at.  I wrote a blog, listening reasons I fail and comparing them to the reasons why I'm actually epic and made the choice that I would stop dwelling on anything I suck at.  I mean, who cares that I've never been able to roll my eyes, for goodness sake?!

Witness a master at work...

But there is one thing I am really bad at, that, in today's modern world, is a bit of a pain in the bum.

I'm awful with technology.

I can use the Internet.  I have an iPhone.  I can basically stumble along, most of the time.  But if you take me away from my comfort zone, I will freak right out.

Pictured: My comfort zone.

For example, I don't have Photoshop.  I'm almost certain that I wouldn't be able to use it.  I am awful at photo manipulation, and the images I create on Paint in order to illustrate my weekly bedtime stories are, if I'm brutally honest, amateurish at best.  I envy people who can create hilarious Photoshopped images, because it's something I will never be able to do.  Image manipulation is just not one of my skills.  And that's only the tip of the terrifyingly-bad-at-technology iceberg.

I can use my webcam to turn myself into a cyclopse, though.

Technology is a wonderful, brilliant thing.  It's given us computers, games consoles and the World Wide Web.  I understand how to use those things - mostly - but I don't have a clue how they work.  When I was setting up my weekly bedtime story podcast, I had to have a far more tech-savvy friend essentially talk me through the entire process.  He even had to tell me how to resize a photo, in order to get the podcast onto iTunes, because I was that dim.

I'm currently praying that my laptop lasts forever, because the thought of having to go to PC World and blag my way through a conversation about how much RAM I need (why do I want sheep in a computer?!), or how many Bits are best is literally terrifying.  

To let you know exactly how dumb I am when it comes to "tech-speak," I recently visited a website that listed common technological words and phrases, in order to try to teach myself.  I remember literally none of the actual explanations behind the words I read, but here's what I assume them to mean:

Boot sequence: The process of putting on a pair of wellies.
Cache: What you need to buy stuff with.
DFS: Somewhere you can go to purchase a sofa (with all the cache you've been saving).
Ethernet: The Internet for ghosts.
Megapixel: Better than all the other pixels.

I just don't think the technological side of my brain works right.  Maybe I was dropped on my head as a baby and all the potential for learning about how computers work was deleted, or something.  If you ask me to post a blog, create a gif using an online creator or upload a video to YouTube, I'm absolutely fine.  Ask me to talk you through what wires go where on a PC and I will stare at you like you've just grown a new head and then quite possibly cry.

My life online frequently consists of trying to upload something, connect to somewhere or even just figure out how something works, only to find myself rushing to Google and begging for help.  When people talk to me using technological terms, my brain does this:

Which is unhelpful, because thanks to horror movies, static terrifies me.

It's not just computers, either.  I once pressed the wrong button on my TV and for a good fifteen minutes, a blue screen of death blinked back at me, as I hurled various profanities at it and mourned the inevitable death of my ability to watch telly in bed ever again.  Then I pressed another button (for what seemed like the nine millionth time), the screen came back to life and I came very close to weeping with joy.  To this day, I don't know what I pressed to make it go wrong, nor do I entirely know which button I pressed to make it right again.  I basically assume the technology fairies took pity on me and used magic dust or something.

When you're utterly confused by technology, every day brings its own challenges.  Earlier today, whilst driving along, I suddenly realised that my iPad (which I currently use as an iPod) was connected to my car, but wasn't being recognised by the system for some reason.  So, I behaved like any good, self-respecting technophobe and panicked like mad, pleaded with it, turned the stereo off and on again three times and then yanked the wire out and shoved it back in.  All whilst sitting at traffic lights, thankfully.

In fact, even cars are a form of technology that baffle me.  I can drive one, but if something goes wrong, I generally assume that it's the end of the freaking world.  I'm someone who's been known to get glassy-eyed over a dashboard warning light.  I carry jump leads, but I have literally no idea how to use them.

In a nutshell, I am someone who can use technology, as long as literally nothing goes wrong.  Ever.

Basically, don't ask me to set anything up, don't talk to me about file extensions and don't request that I convert anything from one form of file to another and we'll be fine.

I think I've kind of come to accept my status as a user of technology who understands probably 10% of it, at most.  The thing is, as much as it's annoying to be rubbish at something that's so central to the world we live in, I have to remind myself that it's okay to to acknowledge your failings in life.  People are made up of things they're good at and things they suck at - it's what makes us rounded.

Well, all the pizza I eat is also what makes me well-rounded, but I digress...

So, I might need help when installing something on my laptop, or knowing what to type into a command window (actually, I'm not even sure how to open a command window - what even is a command window??!!), but I guess I should be looking at the bigger picture, here.  As long as I can use technology, maybe I shouldn't be worrying too much about how it all works, or panicking quite so much if something goes wrong.

To all my fellow technophobes (if you've actually managed to navigate your way here to even read this blog): I vote we rely heavily on tech-support and stay away from stuff we don't understand, as much as is humanly possible.  It's fine to enjoy technology without having to focus on how little of it actually makes any sense to you.

Unless you're writing a blog about it, obviously.

Thanks, Dan.

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