The Other Side of 50

Conflict between technology, poor eyesight evident

By From page OSF2 | August 14, 2014

bass column sig

For those of you who may not know, Skype is a wonderful program that lets you use the Internet to communicate visually using a camera and microphone.

You call and the result is to be able to talk with folks as if they were sitting across the table from you. It’s very personal. I “Skype” twice a week with my son and daughter-in-law in Texas. It’s just great.

Well, the Skype people have been bugging me to upgrade the program for at least a month. Several times a day a window appears telling me to “upgrade now.” I am always reluctant to upgrade anything on the Internet because frequently you wind up able to do more complicated things, but not being able to do the ordinary. If I have something that works for me, I am happy with it and don’t want to change. I just want to be left alone.

After having the Skype upgrade thing show up on my monitor screen a zillion times, I decided to go ahead with the upgrade – just to stop the nagging. That was a big mistake.

It turned out they wanted a lot more personal information. That might have been OK, but the print on the application and instructions was so small that I couldn’t read it. I tried anyway. The result was I eliminated my Skype account altogether and I missed a call.

So I called my good friend Bob Jarvis for help. He came over and in 15 minutes he had my Skype account back up and running. Skype is still bugging me to upgrade, but I am not going to touch the upgrade with a 10-foot pole. Unless, that is, I can get someone with sight to do it for me.

This doesn’t apply to the Skype people; there are a lot of bandits out there, people who tell you  that you have problems when you really don’t. Or they create a problem and offer to fix it for a fee. They have names that make them sound official, as if they are a department of Windows or Microsoft or one of the security outfits.

I don’t trust anyone anymore. If I can’t read it, I delete it or say “no.” Some guy called the other day saying, “We are your computer company. Do you remember talking with us?” The answer to the question was, “No!”

I will admit that I cause many of my problems myself. A lot of it is because I am reluctant to try new things. Frequently, I make assumptions that aren’t valid. Take texting, for example. I had assumed that texting was only for cellphones. When David Isom told me he could be reached any time by texting, I discovered that I could send and receive text messages on my desktop. It’s easier than email.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. I don’t know what it is. I am open to most ideas. When it comes to technology, I have to be pushed in.

Anybody else feel that way?

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

Murray Bass


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