One definition states that a Luddite is someone who opposes new technology or ways of working. Another states it is typically a derogatory reference for someone seen as hopelessly behind the times.
What if one is not opposed to technology but finds it incredibly frustrating to use? What if it causes confusion, waste massive amounts of time and does not do what one wishes?
Take this Blog for example. I hired someone to put my website together for me over 15 years ago and then switched to Word Press, so that ostensibly I could manage it on my own. My goal was to write things for a Blog as I enjoy writing and like to share my thoughts and observations. And yet, that has not been my experience.
When I have finished a piece and want to publish it to the website I click the Publish button but nothing happens. I poke around and switch screen after screen ultimately losing the page that held my document. After some more poking around I find it again but still have no way to make it post on the Blog page of my website. I need help and again contact the web guy.
My son has offered to give me a Smart Phone and doesn’t understand why I don’t want it. As a necessity I did borrow one of his when I flew to India alone to attend his wedding. He wanted to be sure I could check in with him at the different stops along the way. With help from a few strangers I was able to use the phone at the airports, text him a message and be on my way.
There was one airport where I spent an hour plugged into the power source trying to send him a text. This was on my way back home and waiting at a very small airport before going to a larger one. Feeling out of my depths I asked a man standing next to me for help. There was a teenager standing behind him who I would have rather asked. The man was very well dressed in shiny leather shoes and a suit. With the poverty in India he stood out as the best dressed man in the room. I didn’t have a good feeling about him, but I was feeling desperate.
The man took the phone from me and spent an inordinate amount of time scrolling through it. I thought he might be an IT guy who was reprogramming it in order to get it to work. When he handed it back to me I sensed a feeling of disappointment from him. I thought he was disappointed for me that I was not able to use the phone.
He told me that only and Indian phone number could be used from this airport, something he must have known from the start. He plugged his number in for me before heading out to his plane giving me a few minutes to call my son.
It later occured to me that the man had been searching my phone for information, possibly banking information in order to gain access to my money. Unfortunately for him I am a Luddite and don’t use a Smart Phone to do online banking. I think his disappointment came from only finding emails, texts and photos of my trip to India.
I’ll continue to have to get help with technology and doubt I’ll ever have a soft spot in my heart for it, but I’m glad I didn’t hand the fancy stranger access to my finances.