Life Day By Day,  Retirement

“T” is for Technology

Yes, “T” is for Technology. Technology is moving so fast we all must be on our “front foot” to keep up with it. If you are like me you also know that “T” is for Trouble and “T” is for Time, such as pulling your hair out time! There has been plenty of times technology has caused me trouble and wasted my time. For example, working out a glitch in my self-managed website! Yet, the more I work with the technology the easier it is to work it out. I find I am more Technical these days – I have the Technique! At least with some of the twenty-first century gadgets!

A few decades ago computers were not sitting on everyone’s desk or work station. At my last job before I retired I had two monitors on my desk, just to keep across all that was going on, spreadsheets, etcetera. Then there was a time I had a docking station for my laptop and hey presto I had a desktop computer. As I travelled with my work I just removed the laptop and I was on my way. Then I had a fob that I could dial into the organisational network when I was away. No excuses for not working late into the night!

We live in a digital world!

Technology is moving so fast in a short space of time we have gone from 35mm camera, the ones where you insert a film to digital. The problem of carrying all those films on an overseas trip. My O&O was a frenetic photographer. He took so many photographs on one trip the most I saw of him was the back of his head! Maybe a slight exaggeration. Only since I retired did I step into the SLR digital camera world. It is great. I can take as many photographs as I like and delete those I don’t like. A digital camera is now a DIY activity, just like the camera on my smart phone.

Some camera shops these days are doing okay but back a few years the camera shop in Maleny closed – not as many customers! As technology is moving so fast businesses must reinvent themselves. Another example, was the video outlets where we could hire a movie, now out of business. We can now download a movie from the comfort of our arm-chair! However, people still go to a theatre to see a movie. Is it the big screen with the big sound or the popcorn or the ice cream with chocolate on top? Going to the movies has not gone out of fashion with technology moving forward. In fact, I went to a movie today, passing on the popcorn and ice cream!

Then what about books? We can read or print e-books online or download a book on to a kindle (hand-held electronic device for reading books) or iPad. Despite all this bookshops remain open, but maybe not as many. Then others have reinvented themselves by combining a coffee shop with a book shop. Technology is changing the way we live. Very few of us look at a map when we are going to a new destination. There is no need, just key the destination into the GPS or look it up on our smart phone. I have found though that the GPS is not foolproof. They like to take you to the major arterial roads and this is not always the shortest route.

To make sure we are moving with the capital “T” for Technology last year we bought a smart TV. The TV can be turned on from my One & Only’s (O&O’s) mobile. He does not know how the app got on to his phone. He ignores it, but I have tried it and it works! We discovered our smart TV was smarter than us! I could not work out how to change the volume. All I had to do was pick up my smart phone, who is also smarter than me! I found out that there is one button for the mute and volume. I, being more technologically advanced, did the initial setup of our smart TV but then my O&O came to my rescue with one configuration. Then we “phoned a friend”, younger than us, who worked out the last glitch.

We went along with our smart TV and its smart ways for a while but then decided to go back to our familiar Telstra T-Box. It did everything. Gave us program information, was user-friendly to manoeuvre, and quick to go to our favourite channels. It also recorded, and we could download movies. What more did we want? But, technology is moving forward, and Telstra is exiting the T-Box on 31 March 2018. It will still have some functions, such as, watching free-to-air TV but Telstra will no longer be providing updates or support. Technology has moved on. It is time to switch to the smart TV and become more familiar with all its functions, otherwise we will be left behind technologically!

Now I have a FitBit watch. It just told to go for a stroll as I have sat for too long. It tracks my heartbeat, exercise, steps I take, how well I am sleeping as well as telling me the date and time. Fitbits are good as you age, you can never forget the date! While data is collected about me, I don’t care. Who is interested anyway? I had not worn a watch for about five years until I got my FitBit. Now I have one on my wrist 24/7. Times are a changing!

What I am looking forward to is the intelligent fridge. It can tell me what is in the fridge and then it will work out a menu for dinner. No looking through all those recipe books or on the internet for a tried and tested recipe. Then as I am ageing no worries about having a driving test. I can hop in my driverless car and be on my way to the supermarket. But then my other option is to get online, order my groceries and have them delivered to the door.

Technology is changing the way we live, and we must adapt to change. However, it is always good to have a digital detox and get away from all the technology – time out from our mobile phones and other devices. Get back to the simple things in life – a BBQ or picnic instead of eating out; looking at a sunset instead of a movie; taking off our shoes and feeling the grass or sand beneath our feet; turning our mobiles to silent (too much trouble to turn it off and on again) and then go for a walk. As one of my team members, before I retired, said to me “Kathryn, time is up, step back from your bench”. In other words, you have done enough work for today, it is time for down-time, time to get away from all the work technology and its demands. While technology can take over our lives, I do recognise and appreciate so many of the benefits!

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