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Richard Abrons Headshot

Technology and Me

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My uncle Hyman and aunt Amy went to Europe and back many times. Always by ship. They never experienced flight in the air.

My older brother, Herbert, tried to use a computer but never mastered it. I don't believe he ever sent an email.

I have flown to the corners of the earth and I love my computer. I enjoy sending and receiving emails. Such an efficient way of communication. And I am awed at the spread of Google, where you can get the lyrics to "Joe Hill" or seasonal trends in the stock market.

But I do not own a cellphone.

Years ago, trying to correct a deficiency in being able to cope with normal demands, such as changing the time on the automobile clock or opening a cereal box, I took courses at The KnowHow Workshop. There I learned how to wire lamps, fix toilets, simple carpentry and basic automobile care.

Except I didn't.

I (and the instructor) did make a shiny lacquered small hinged box, which I proudly placed on a table in our living room. A visiting friend saw it and said, "oh, Tommy made two of those in the third grade."

I am a user of technology at the lowest level. We have voice-mail but can't access messages from afar. We have GPS in our car but neither my wife Iris nor I know how to use it. This is compounded by my hopeless sense of direction. If I say, turn right, Iris will turn left and nearly always will be on course.

And I have no cellphone. I don't know anyone else who doesn't have a cellphone. Family and friends have reproached me. What if say at the airport, I have become separated from Iris. She, of course, does have a cellphone but she can't call me and I can't call her. OMG!

This kind of thing might happen four times a year. For this I need a cellphone? The world can reach me by house phone or email. This is a ton better than the days of Paul Revere.

I have a grandson who is in charge of live streaming at Viacom. This shows that my genes, while questionable, are not poisonous.

I am strong in areas of reason, judgement, concepts and imagination. No more KnowHow Workshops. I have concentrated on my strengths and let my weaknesses be.

I love to read. And I will never use a kindle.