Digital World Devices Drive Me Crazy

Digital World Devices Drive Me Crazy

We are living in a digital world.  On the one hand, we can find out how to do anything quickly. But passwords and system up-grades rule our lives.  For many seniors, this digital world is hard to navigate.

Living in a Digital World

We are living in a digital world. Electronic circuits were miniaturized in the late 1950′ with the invention of the micro chip.  The digital world has been growing since then.   Despite almost 7 decades to adjust, I still have trouble with digital devices.  I have learned how to deal with new digital devices so that, at least, I am not intimidated.  I always do 6 things when using a digital device that I have not used before.

Do the digital changes in the world some times frustrate  you?  Do my 6 steps to dealing with the digital world work for you?


Old school technology was usually pretty complicated.  But, I was used to it so it didn’t intimidate me.  Think about a typewriter.  There was a complicated machine.  After rolling one sheet of paper into the machine, that sheet had to be centered and Typewriters are more complicated than digital world machinessquared using two or three different levers.  Then the paper had to be advanced by hitting a lever to leave a top margin.  A tab key was hit to indent for a paragraph.  Shift keys and shift lock keys were used to set capitals.  Ink for printing was held on cloth roll.  Changing that roll was a complicated, messy process.   Multiple copies called for carbon paper which meant another complicated, messy process.  This Smith-Corona Electra was top of the line.  If a person could use a type writer, a cell phone or keyboard should be easy.

Drink Vending Machines

A coke machine was another complicated machine. After dropping your change into the slot, there were various ways to get your drink. All of them involved pulling a bottle out of a mechanism.  If your pull was not the right strength or speed, you often lost your change.  Selecting the proper number for your drink, in an automatic digital world drink machines have no moving parts.machine was tricky.  A wrong selection number would deliver the wrong drink.  The drinks in these machines hung up about 1/2 the time.  The digital machines are actually easier to use and more reliable.  There is a huge variety of drink combinations to choose from.  If you pick the wrong drink, hitting the “back icon” starts the process over.  There are no moving parts to the digital drink machines of today.  Digital machines are intimidating, but more efficient than manual models.

At the Counter

Remember the good old days when you spoke to a clerk, receptionist  or server at the doctor’s office or a fast food restaurant?  It was easy to ask questions, find a rest  Digital world menus eliminate staffroom or place a very specific order.  Not anymore.  Digital is much more efficient.  Digital devices have allowed many businesses to cut back on staff.  Where a server was needed at each cash register in a fast food restaurant to take orders, that function can now be eliminated.  Where a receptionist  was needed to check to make an appointment, record intake information and maintain the appointment schedule, a touch pad now does all the work.  Most of these digital pad are intuitive, but I still find them intimidating.  There are always major delays if a pad stops functioning because there is not enough staff to pick up the slack.

Dealing with the Digital

  1. Tell yourself that if a 3 year old use digital things, you can, too.  My 3 year old granddaughter often said, “Papa, push this picture.”
  2. Know your information before you start.  Pausing as you use a digital machine can sometimes cause it to time out.  For me, the stress of choosing an icon and deciding what information is needed is too much.
  3. Make your choices slowly.  Carefully look at the choices for each entry.  Pushing the wrong icon can take you to a completely new place in the system.
  4. Make sure of your aim as you push each icon.  Pushing the wrong icon can take you to a completely new place in the system.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If staff can be found, they can help.  The people behind you that your a delaying will probably also help.
  6. Make sure that you complete the process.  Not finishing the process can sometimes mean that you must start over.  Others cannot use the device until you have completed your session.

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14 thoughts on “Digital World Devices Drive Me Crazy

  1. Excellent advice and, YES, I can relate to some of the stuff you have mentioned here.  I learned to type on an electric typewriter in High School. But, I can tell you this, my typing speed has increased tenfold since I started my online adventure.  

    Yes, technology just keeps on moving forward and, wait for it… I, too have to ask questions more often than would like. I had to ask someone how to make paragraphs on Facebook the other day 🥴.  

    Your tips will come in handy but there will always, I think, be a time to ask questions.  Don’t you think?

    We might be getting older but, we CAN still learn new tricks.

    Enjoyed your post.


  2. Hi James, this is truly interesting. I must admit that I found myself smiling even as I read through this post. Just like you, digital world devices gives me lot of interest. By the way I didn’t get to use typewriters. I have seen someone use it before but it isn’t popular these days. The whole process of using this machine is what made me smile… MS Word and some other software these days have made typesetting easier.

    Thanks for sharing this piece. I love it.


    1. You sure didn’t miss anything by not using a typewriter or carbon paper.  Give it a try sometime… you’ll get a good laugh.  Thanks for reading my post.

  3. Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. Sometimes living in a digital world can be funny and amusing. I sit back to think about all the devices I changed in my apartment and the significant changes that have been made. My children can even operate most of this thing than myself 

    1. At this point, my wife and I don’t even touch a faucet to turn on the water.  Its getting to be ridiculous.  Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

  4. Hello, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I have two seniors who are willing to learn to work on digital things but they think it is very hard so they don’t want to start learning. I am glad you explained things so well, I am sure they will understand this, thank you for sharing such useful info.

    1. Just be patient.  Its kind of nerve raking when you can figure out how to order a burger and fries.  Thanks for you comment and for reading my post.

  5. Hello there,thanks for this awesome article it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.iist say that the world is almost digitalized as many upgrade has been made especially to the vending machine now one don’t need to stress that much to get a snack of a drink.even the typewriters aren’t used anymore.and many development are still coming iust say one need alot it lectures to meet up wothe the standard of living in the digital world.

    1. You are right.  I don’t think things will stop soon.  New devices and innovations are coming all the time.  Thanks for reading my article.

  6. I use my wife to do a large number of my digital tasks. She is very tech savvy and has better eye sight. I like you steps and list. I wonder if this will get any easier as we move along. I know what you mean about pushing the wrong icon and ending up in the wrong place again this is where my wife is very helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need. 

    1. I have a lot of patience with people, but, when I make a mistake doing something that should be easy, I get frustrated. My wife also is better at this stuff.  Thanks for reading the article.

  7. Thank you so much for the awesome post!  I really enjoyed reading this because it comes from a perspective that needs to be heard, and that is the elderly people who grew up in a differently generation than people like myself.  Things are changing, and they are changing fast, and we should all help each other to keep up with these rapid changes.  I am glad to see that you have found ways to adapt, and it is hard, but hopefully it will lead us to a brighter future to have these changes.

    1. There is definitely a comfort with these devices for younger folks.  I can certainly use them, but I am always nervous.  My grand kids don’t even think about it.  Thanks for reading this article.

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