Technophobia. It’s Real.
Here I sit, humbled at the foot of my laptop.
I have an irrational reaction to tech. I have, in my life, deferred to partners who spoke this language easily and fluently. I am embarrassed to admit that I let them take this over, waited for them to just set the damn thing up for me so that I could do whatever it was that I needed to do.
So, my laptop was going to need to be replaced soon, anyway. It uses Microsoft 8.1, which I am told that Microsoft will no longer support in a few months. This laptop is old, has served me well. I have trusted it with secrets, passwords kept, bills easily paid with a click. I meander through things intuitively and somehow manage to be somewhat functional on this device. But, the truth is, I don’t understand how it works nor have I ever cared to delve into this. That I have left for those whose brains seems to resonate with this language. That is not me.
However, I am not partnered now, by choice. And it is time to face this anxiety and sometimes paralyzing fear. This morning I was able to adjust the screen just enough that I can write and see what I am writing. (The latest new issue of this tired laptop is a coming apart of the keyboard seams a bit, with the result being that it can be more difficult to see the screen.)
I am grateful that the minor adjustment worked this morning. But, the warning has been given and hospice has been called for this brave little device that has worked so diligently. And I can no longer be in denial.
Yesterday I froze with the anxiety of being overwhelmed with not knowing what to do or who to turn to. Today, I have some energy. A friend recommended someone that might be able to help, who is reasonable with his fees and whom she trusts. I also have Best Buy and the Geek Squad in my mind as another option. There is help to be hired.
It’s interesting to me that one of the things about my own aging journey is that I begin to feel less confident at times in my competence to deal with situations. I freeze. Yesterday I did nothing, except feel the anxiety around this issue. I literally froze in place.
I watch this with great interest. I seem to have made it this far in life and handled all the various things that life throws at all of us. So why do I doubt myself? Why does this freeze and paralyze me?
So, I am having conversations with myself, reminding myself that I am a functional, competent woman who has dealt with much in her life. A small laptop is really not capable of defeating me. It can scare me temporarily, but not defeat me. I can ask for help, be vulnerable in expressing what I do not know or understand, and reach out. Which I have begun to do and will continue to do. Until this is resolved.
With fear and trepidation, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I wonder, as I observe myself, if this is one of the challenges of aging. To keep believing in oneself, to keep trying to learn, to keep participating in life even with all the self doubts, to keep engaging. To admit weaknesses but not take that as a definition of who we are or what we have become.
My strengths have never been in the technical direction. But I can talk about feelings with you. I can listen. I can do my best to write those and express them and perhaps touch some others and help them feel less alone. I can engage with others and help them feel seen and heard. I can be a friend. I can love animals and nature and find peace there. I can feel their presence, indeed feel the presence of the earth beneath my feet, the trees breathing around me. I can love.
So, onward today. Onward to call those of the tech country who speak that language, praying that they are bilingual in the language of tech anxiety and vulnerability.
I am so grateful to be able to write this today. This recent challenge has further validated how important it is for me to write, to connect with you all this way. To have my words read, and to touch those who may resonate with what I write about. Writing is a lifeline for me. So I will wander into the scary land of technology, as an appreciative tourist, and find a translator to help me appreciate all the beauty and connection around me. And to be able to keep connecting.
Aging is a challenge. Facing each new fear and doubt to the best of my ability is important. It is too easy to fall victim to the siren call of “I can’t handle this. I can’t do this. I give up.” Rather, the challenge is to respond with the war cry of “I can do this. I don’t have to do it perfectly or even know exactly what I am doing. I am still capable, can still learn, can reach out for help, can keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep embracing what life offers. I am strong in my weaknesses. I am competent in my challenges. I am alive, with all my changes and aging issues.” I can freeze momentarily, and I can start moving again. It’s ok. I am ok. Technophobia and all.
I am here. I am still so very much here.