Day Late, Dollar Short

Day Late, Dollar Short

[Why Technology HATES Me]

By Jeff Salter

 

            In a loose sense, we’re blogging about technology this week. How it’s so difficult (and expensive) to get caught up… and so easy to suddenly lose ground again and get left behind.

            In a more specific focus, we’re talking about the impact of social media on our lives and work. But before I address that particular topic, let me lay enough foundation for you to understand how technology and I really don’t get along.

 

Audios

            Decades after phonograph records had peaked (but I didn’t realize it), I finally had opportunity and resources to join a “record club”… and quickly built up a nice-sized collection. Just in time to learn that music would no longer be produced in that format… and our record player had finally bit the dust.

            I slowly re-built some of my music collection in audio cassettes… certain that THIS was the technology I could bank on for a long future. Uh, nope. They died nearly as soon as I’d made significant investments in cassettes and the appropriate player/recorder.

            For the most part – except for a few gifts from other people – I have refrained from making a THIRD attempt to build a music collection on CD. My reason? As soon as I make that investment, they’ll come out with some sort of musical bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll play/sell music on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that.

 

Videos

            Same thing happened to me with videos. My brother had invested in a BetaMax video player and numerous video cassettes in that format. I wisely stayed out of that format war brouhaha and waited until VHS was firmly entrenched as the national pastime. So firmly entrenced that, yes – you guessed it – as soon as I joined a video club and got scores of my favorite movies, the industry had suddenly dropped VHS and jumped on DVD.

            I had scarcely bought my first “regular” DVDs when Blue-Rays came out.

            I refuse to buy any Blue-Rays, because as soon as I do, they’ll come out with some sort of video bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll play/sell videos on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that. I think they call it “streaming”.

 

E-Mail

            I’ve sent and received a LOT of e-mails. Where I used to work, some people called me the “e-mail king.” [It was NOT a compliment.]

            I’ve pretty much used whatever email service was provided by whatever internet hook-up that I had. Some have been pretty sorry, too. People often ask me why I keep on using a sorry email provider and I reply: “Because it’s so difficult to switch to a new one and get everybody (and every account) over to that new address.”

 

Smart and Semi-Smart Phones

            I love the convenience of a phone I can take with me.

            I hate the interruption of a phone I carry with me.

            I loved the ease of use of the old push-button desk phones.

            I hate the confusing, user-unfriendly steps required to perform simple cell phone functions like “call” and “answer”.

            Don’t get me started on “auto-correct” messing with my text messages.

 

Social Media

            Okay, I finally arrived at the actual topic, but it was important for you to know (first) how poorly my luck has been running with respect to technology.

            I didn’t join Facebook until Jan. of 2009 and didn’t really get rolling with it until – yep, you guessed it – people started bailing out because FB kept changing the rules, messing with the feeds, selling our info to advertisers, and throwing so many ads in our faces. Now most of the folks who remain on FB only do so for the reason I do — we’ve already invested so much time and energy that the though of starting over (elsewhere) makes us weep.

            I’m a “member” of GoodReads, but still don’t know what I’m doing and consequently spend very little time doing it there.

            I resisted Twitter until a few months ago when I became convinced that all the hot info was moving along those avenues instead of on FB. I still don’t know what I’m doing on Twitter, but have already learned enough to feel that I’m basically wasting my time and somehow all I’m accomplishing is becoming a potential buyer / user of somebody ELSE’s products or services.

            As one of my author friends described her experience on Twitter: “I joined Twitter to promote my books among potentially interested readers. But 99% of my contacts are other authors who are doing the same thing — namely, trying to interest me in THEIR books.” And that pretty much sums up my Twitter experience so far.

 

The Future

            I don’t know what medium will face us when Facebook finally runs off everybody and services like Twitter get so knotted up in changes that nobody wants to bother with them anymore. I suspect it will be some sort of communicating bubble technology (or whatever)… or they’ll send / receive messages on the Ethernet cloud. Oh, wait. Maybe they’re already doing that.

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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14 Responses to Day Late, Dollar Short

  1. I feel your pain about the records and VHS tapes,Jeff. I still have many VHS tapes and yes, we watch them ,(esp. the kids), although we are thinning them out some.
    I dodged the BETA bullet, but barely; Joe brought one home cheap but I got in the car to go return it before he got it i the house…I knew they were dying out.
    I just threw out a lot of cassette tapes. My biggest problem has been that I have notes on mini-tapes, but the players are hard to find and I’m plain out-of luck, as the new ones are all digital.
    I discovered yesterday that I “follow” 260+ people/things on Twitter,(no, really,I don’t) and that 26 people follow me…I wonder.
    My personal email rate has gone way down, although I do get a lot of notifications of other people’s blogs,( especially cooking blogs).
    Looks like they have us by the toes,Jeff.

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  2. LOL, I think we all should make a pact that we just never buy anything after blue ray! I, too, am tired of the upgrades!

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  3. Would you believe a friend of my brother’s (never keen on spending money) still HAS his Betamax!
    As for Twitter – thank you so much – I’ve been holding off on it whilst feeling guilty for not getting on board – but I’m already learning so many new thing,s I couldn’t face yet another. Sounds like I’m not necessarily missing much?

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, Helen, I know folks who SWEAR by Twitter… an have developed a knack for effectively using it to promo their new titles and other things.
      But they are obviously more tech-savvy than I am.

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  4. jbrayweber says:

    Ah yes…Beta max. I have some 15 Beta Max tapes filled with awesome music videos I recorded (glued at the TV so I could push record!) off of MTV. Now we all know what happened to MTV. The channel no longer plays music videos and instead clutters viewers with pathetic, useless, cringe-worthy, and sad reality television. All those tapes with golden videos, and no way to watch them. *sigh*

    I have far too many VHS tapes. And even more CDs. I refuse to buy Blue-Ray. Well…I’ve resisted, anyway.

    Hate, hate, hate Twitter. You nailed it. I have a bajillion followers and most are other authors. Twitter serves me no purpose. But I love Facebook. Probably because I’m visual and it’s a fun and easy way to keep in touch with people….from afar. LOL!

    Great post, Jeff.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      I’m visual, too, Jenn. Possibly one reason your Wed. Muse Tracks post always has my attention.
      Surely there’s a place where we can (cheaply) get some of those old VHS or Beta tapes remastered to whatever technology is okay for the time being.
      I have tons of TV movies and TV shows that I taped over the years. the quality was not terrific, however, so I doubt they would be worth the expense of re-mastering even if it were easy and cheap to do so.
      I really hate the notion of everything being in the ether cloud. Because it means you don’t really own it. I mean, somebody can stand up one day and say, “hey, now we’re charging RENT on the ether cloud — so all that stuff you thought you owned… now you have to pay to see it again.”

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      • jbrayweber says:

        I hear you, Jeff. I want to own things, as in physically be able to hold it.
        And I don’t know why I’ve hung onto all those beta tapes. Maybe one day when I come into my fortune (see your post on having a million $) then I could have them transferred. 🙂

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Well, Jenn, one constant in our contemporary world — anything obsolete can be sold on eBay.

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  5. pjharjo says:

    You hit all of it spot on, Jeff! I have a large collection of vinyl albums that will probably be collectors’ items one day! LOL! (If thy aren’t already) Thank you for your at times humorous post, Jeff. I especially enjoyed the line you kept repeating! 🙂

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