Local lifestyle columnists

Too much technology? What about those of us who don’t want all the fancies?

By From page B10 | March 29, 2014

Sometimes I feel like I have been thrust, kicking and screaming, into the fast-moving world of electronic communications. Everything seems to be more than enough, more than I want or need.

Take the telephone industry, for example. I am technologically a landline person. Plug the phone in, answer it when it rings, dial a number to talk to someone.

About a year ago, I bought a three-piece set of AT&T phones. I wanted an instrument in my office, my bedroom and the kitchen/dining room. I don’t want to have to run to the phone before someone hangs up. The new landline phone had so many features, I could never get them installed. I am still running to answer phones before someone hangs up.

I recently bought a new telephone to replace my medical alert system to provide protection no matter where I happen to be. Theoretically, it may do that. But when the new phone arrived, it had a defective SIM card and didn’t work. A SIM card is a tiny bit of material that contains the operating program for the phone (so I’m told).

The phone has features I┬ádon’t need and will never use. It seems like the communications industry assumes everyone wants to do all the wonderful things that are possible today. Not me! All I want to do is plug it in and talk. In the process of switching over from my old cellphone to the new one, my old one was deactivated. So I am without a cellphone and the protection I was looking for.

Probably the most complex item I have is the new laptop computer I bought for my recent trip to Hawaii. It came equipped with the Windows 8.1 operating system. I had a computer expert tell me that the system was designed for the use of computer experts. Where does that leave me?

If I am giving the impression I am against modern technology, I’m not. But there is an assumption that technology will replace basic functions in life. That just isn’t true. Technology should extend and enhance rather than replace.

The latest concepts in public education have disposed of things that have been and are basic building blocks to competence. The two things that come to mind immediately are the rejection of cursive handwriting and multiplication tables. Whoever made those decisions simply doesn’t understand how humans develop; and how much of our history is stored in cursive documents. It’s arrogant ignorance.

Learning to write (cursive) develops many skills: fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and many more, not to speak of the ability to read the handwritten notes of others. The multiplication tables have been abandoned for a system that finds different ways to arrive at an answer. One that is not necessarily correct. There tends to be an emphasis on letting equipment do the work for you. Without equipment, you are helpless. Foundations for effective numbers processing are absent.

Technology is wonderful when used appropriately. When I receive my new SIM card, I’m sure I will have the protection I am looking for. And good friend Bob Jarvis has offered to help me install my AT&T phones.

All is not lost. It just feels that way at times. Do you ever feel that way?

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 16 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Please read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy before commenting.

  • ChrisMarch 29, 2014 - 7:17 am

    ....like life, any change has pluses and minuses, just embrace the positive. There are still old phones and what they represent.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickMarch 29, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    The first telephone call Edison made was when he splashed acid on himself (accidently) "Watson come here I need you". Watson was in another room in the same house. then they started adding all the bells and whistles which most people don't want or need.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AL HIRT - "Fancy Pants" (1965)March 29, 2014 - 8:00 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 1964 1965 NY World's Fair Al Hirt Performs From A Unique StageMarch 29, 2014 - 8:31 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMarch 29, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Murray... last fall I picked up an old (1960) black desk rotary phone. I cleaned it up and it works great. Now every time the phone rings, I'm greeted by old familiar phone bells ringing. There's something kind of reassuring about that sound. Maybe because it's like you, Murray... a bit old, still works, and tons of charm.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacMarch 29, 2014 - 8:06 am

    New technology is Satan grasping at our souls. Get a gun and read the bible to defend yourself.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Cab CallowayMarch 29, 2014 - 8:36 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ella Fitzgerald - Between The Devil & The Deep Blue SeaMarch 29, 2014 - 8:38 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Peggy Lee: Between The Devil And The Deep Blue SeaMarch 29, 2014 - 8:43 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Lonely ShepherdMarch 29, 2014 - 8:14 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (John Rutter)March 29, 2014 - 12:13 pm


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Lord Bless You And Keep You (Aaronic Blessing)March 29, 2014 - 12:19 pm


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lord's Prayer (Aramaic)March 29, 2014 - 12:36 pm


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RalphMarch 29, 2014 - 8:58 am

    prime example of what i said about taunting/bullying your victim.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Magnetic Monster (1953)March 29, 2014 - 9:03 am


    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LilMarch 29, 2014 - 9:30 am

    Crossley makes phones that look like old phones but are actually touch tone. I have a cute princess one for my landline. http://www.crosleyradio.com/Telephones I found that my mom could use them quite easily. Also, for easy cell phones, you should try a jitter bug. http://www.greatcall.com/ They have simpler cell phones and can be used without a degree in computer electronics. Jitterbug is the only cell phone my mom could successfully use. Just some ideas for you!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.