“Sorry, Our Computers Are Down Right Now…”

Oh, for the days when we had to function with a whole lot less technology.

I am trying to re-book a flight out West to see family (they’ve rejected a visit from me for this year, thanks to COVID-19) and doing it online has been miserable. So much for “managing your miles” the easy way. Two calls to the airline’s customer service department has yielded the same results: none.

Bottom line: I have to call back when their computers start working again.

Don’t get me wrong. I like tech. I know you either have to adapt or lose out when it comes to jumping the digital divide. I don’t get my fellow older folks who just refuse to learn how to use a smart device because it’s too complicated or too impersonal. It’s either learn or be left out of pretty much everything.

But I grew up with no personal tech. No smart phones, no portable music or books, no personal computers, no digital connections to people or business. Money was mostly cash or checks, communication was a phone with a dial (you were pretty posh when your parents got a touch-tone phone with buttons), and television was a box with a few channels and rabbit ears if you lived in the boondocks.

Sure, it was slow. But it was also direct. Your bullies were not online and out of sight. You knew who your school yard friends were and who wanted to pound sand in your face at recess. “Ghosting” people you didn’t like had a different meaning back then, and it involved a Halloween prank. Tags, likes, and follows were mere verbs rather than nouns or measures of personal worth.

So while I dislike what technology allows sometimes (ignoring people via blocking, unfollowing, and snooze) and the obvious downfalls (it breaks when you actually need it to work), we are faced with no choice but the big embrace of it and all that it allows us to do, especially those of us at home with limited capability of outside interaction.

And note to the airline: get your act together. I’d still like to travel sometime, hopefully in a safer, post-pandemic world.

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