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February 25, 2014 |

Technology for Morons

BY Jen Hatmaker

Listen, friends. You know I care about the struggles of this world. I have deep thoughts and big feelings about important issues like orphan care and human trafficking. I realize the world is suffering and we only have so many days on this planet and if we aren’t careful we’ll just waste them all and then die. But I just have to add one more tragedy onto the pile:

Trying to figure out technology by myself.

Is it so much to want to listen to Pandora on my TV while I’m “working” (Facebook, Twitter, articles, blogs, Pinterest, Amazon, and Voxer certainly DO count as work. They take time and energy, which I am expending and thus am working on them. I don’t know why I have to explain this).

The problem is that I am dumb in these areas and Brandon is smart, so he does all this “setting up” and “programming” and “downloading” then he gives me tutorials while I am “working” so its hard to “listen” and plus there are so many buttons and they make me sad. There are usually kids around who are like freakish little technology elves who yank the remote(s) out of my hands and make the music and the shows and the movies magically appear.

But the elves were all at school and Brandon was leading “staff meeting” and wouldn’t answer my text about the Pandora crisis because he is incredibly selfish, and I was left to my own devices, which I’ve tried to explain is always the beginning of bad things.

So I went to my one-stop shop for important news, tutorials, advice, and information: Facebook. “Will Facebook please help me get Pandora to come out of my TV? Because I’m listening to the Ben Howard station on my iPhone speaker and it sounds slightly worse than a radio transmission from a World War 2 plane.” I will sum up the advice I received:

Turn on your Blutooth through your Smart Samsung with the VeVo app and run it through Chromecast (THE BEST!) and pull up the Pandora app on your phone/Direct TV/Apple TV then push the menu button or the Extra Button or the App Store and there you will find the Hub button and also the arrow button to select your device, and additionally the things with the Bluray and Xbox and the HDMI settings. And obviously, if it is FiOS, try widgets (obvs).

Because Jesus is still in the miracle business, I clicked a bunch of buttons and found some special place on the TV to download Pandora and login with our account info. Perhaps you remember me mentioning that Brandon does these things, so all our “account information” is somewhere in his brain. Of course, I sent a second emergency text to access this knowledge, but he was still locked in a quagmire of self-regard with his “work” and ignored me again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, sleep on the couch, man.

So I used my mental powers to imagine what his login choices were. Here is the important place to mention the absolute suckfest it is to use the arrow buttons on your remote to “type” in long bits of information on a virtual keyboard. Let’s see, when I need to use the @ sign or a . or an uppercase letter, I have to click down to access a different screen which is like every fourth letter and then FOR THE LOVE OF TINA TURNER I hit “enter” on the wrong character and have to go to the “delete” key and back up four letters and apparently it is too complicated for the TV to have a “.com” button and would rather us switch screens four times to enter that rarely used bit of information, so it takes me approximately 73 hours to enter Brandon’s email address. (Really, dude? You have to include your first AND last name? Do you know how angry I get every time I have to fill out your long email address on the 983,343 forms I’ve filled out for our children since they were born? Never mind. You don’t even know what I’m talking about. They just magically get enrolled, signed up, sent to camp, sent on field trips, adopted, medically released, educationally assessed, treated, registered, and logged into the system. You may be the Technology Person, but I AM THE FORM FAIRY.)

So because this little game was a GUESSING GAME, after finally entering his email address which required approximately 91 buttons, I tried a password because this man may be a smart about these things but he is a Predictable Password-Picker, so I knew I had three to choose from. But after entering the email and password and hitting “log in,” if it is wrong because some helpless, ignored wife is trying to break into your account,  it reverts you back to GROUND ZERO and you have to start over and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth and also curses and damnations.

Of course the correct password was the third one I tried out of three, so I basically turned old and shriveled while hunting and pecking for forever, thinking, you know what? We have figured out how to fuel cars with corn, and we can’t do better than this? Why don’t our TV’s have Siri? Do they hate her? She IS a terrible speller and subpar listener, but I would like to be able to say to my TV, “TV, please figure out how to play my Pandora. Thank you and have a nice day.”

But then a miracle happened. I finally entered the stuff correctly, and Pandora popped up on my TV. It was, certainly, how Peter must have felt when he walked on water. These are identical scenarios. I rescinded all the bad thoughts I’d been directing at Brandon who wasn’t there for me in my time of need and sent him the good news because sometimes I need him to know that I am a Smart Person and Have Useful Skills and Can Do Things:

blog_383977_2351108_1393350871-9082473
This reaction was underwhelming. I have to praise my own self with Emojis?
It’s like he doesn’t even understand me.
I see my future as a grandma for whom technology has long outpaced her and it is terrifying, since that is basically who I already am. I will be like my dad who once told me my website “wasn’t on his internet.” My people will make fun of me and text each other the questions I ask and take dibs on who has to help me next time. Brandon already can’t stand me in this department. (You guys, as I type this, my phone is blowing up with all the events and appointments Brandon has been putting into our iCalendar the last 10 minutes. Bless him. How on earth have we stayed married for 20 years? I just fielded a phone call from my dentist about a missed appointment this morning because I lost my paper calendar two weeks ago and have no idea where I am supposed to be for the rest of 2014.)

So as technology marches onward, someday I’ll be that baffled, confused grandma who is a recurring character on “When Parents Text” and Brandon will probably have lost his mind and I will have no music or emails or whatever newfangled thing the young kids will have invented. But you know what?

I made my TV play Pandora LIKE A BOSS today. Don’t cry for me yet, Argentina.