Trying to explain the difference between broadband and dial-up to my Uncle Milton is like someone trying to explain the difference between sauteing and pan-frying to me. He could care less. I really could care less. Though I tried to explain broadband is faster and wouldn't tie up his telephone line, he said no.
Uncle Milton has no use for the Internet.
All he knows is that when he called about the bill for his dial-up connection, he got one of those automated systems we both hate, and the waiting led him to disconnect the service. It was the disconnect between the human touch and technology that moved him to stop the service.
Uncle Milton will be 90 in February. Time is precious to him, which is why I wish he'd relent and have broadband installed in his home. He'd be able to read the email messages my cousins and I exchange or visit the website we established for our family.
But he said no.
My uncle isn't an elder who is afraid of learning something new, understand that when he was in his late 70s he took Photoshop classes to learn how to electronically retouch photographs. He's a retired studio photographer and at the suggestion of some young dude at the camera store he took those classes. Uncle Milton is not quite in love with Photoshop, because he believes the hand retouch is more perfect and precise. Still, he knows his way around the software with relative skill and patience, believe it or not.
Here is a sample of his Photoshop work:
(That's Uncle Milton as a boy. He's the one in the rear and to his left is my Aunt Alice; my Uncle Earl is the tiny one and my granddad Charles is to Uncle Milton's right. The photo is one of his first Photoshop experiments.)
My beloved Uncle Milton is a cool cat who wears a beret, owns a mobile phone, listens to reggae (Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff - the old school guys), loves Tito Puente and until a few years ago would do the meanest headstands at his annual New Year's Eve party sans alcohol. (I suggested he throw back some shots and give it a try again. He laughed and said no.) He owns a PC and as you can see some sophisticated software. However, he has no patience with the Internet as in Internet providers.
I feel him. Like my uncle I need my technology with a human touch. There are days when I have no patience with the Internet or Internet providers. And there are days when I don't know how I'd ever live without the Internet.
Maybe I'd live like Uncle Milton who seems to have done just fine without the World Wide Web. He's done just fine. He'll be meeting me at Panera Bread for some tea, and I can show him this post on my laptop.
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