Most of us follow blindly through this tech jungle. We do it, I suppose, because there are rewards for having the world of information and entertainment at your fingertips. The problem is that the constant upgrades are expensive and as you approach retirement age—even if you can’t afford to retire—you have to keep spending in order to meet your tech needs. A few years ago I purchased an app because apparently my laptop was running too slowly. I do tend to have more than one app open at a time, I confess. Maybe too many. But apps take up so much operating memory these days that you can either constantly quit and reopen (if you have a mind like mine) or you can upgrade. And even then you’re not sure of what you’re doing.
I’m old enough, you see, to remember having to load the program you wanted to use via floppy disc when you booted up. We all assumed the swapping of discs was the price you paid for being able to, say, type a dissertation without using white-out all the time. Then we started hearing these rumors of an “internet” with “email.” I found my first (and it turns out, only) full-time professorship via letter. Delivered by the post office. A friend wrote to me about the opening and I sent a fateful letter of inquiry to Nashotah House. The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve kept much of the paper of those early days. The movers always complain that I’ve done so, but I’m between worlds. I was born in a paper world and I don’t trust this electronic one. That’s why I still buy physical books. I’ve had too many devices die on me. And now I keep only one or two apps open at a time, and forget to look at the stuff on the others—I keep them open to remind me.
It is a jungle, this virtual world. We like to think it’s civilized but what do we really know? So I deleted the app that pops up telling me that one app open at a time is too taxing for my computer’s memory. Then I remembered that I pay an annual fee for such annoying reminders. I had to reinstall and await the notices again. Yes, some of my files are big. I write books, and that’s just the way it works. So I put up with those yappy reminders because, well, it’s better than swapping discs a dozen times just to type a sentence or two when I have time.