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Older Adults and Tech Rage

This is a bit of a Grumpy Old Lady rant about technology these days. I have always been able to laugh at myself, but these days, when I’m not super angry and frustrated at some piece of technology or technology company, I’ve been laughing a lot.

Wikipedia tells me that “Computer rage refers to negative psychological responses towards a computer due to heightened anger or frustration. Examples of computer rage include cursing or yelling at a computer, slamming or throwing a keyboard or a mouse , and assaulting the computer or monitor with an object or weapon.

I don’t think I’m ever specifically angry at my computer, but sometimes new devices make me angry and frustrated. Why does the new streaming service we have lag, why won’t my printer connect, and why does my phone sometimes get very large letters on it? I feel the rage bubbling.

Also, I like to type with all of my fingers, not tap with one finger or thumb to text, and WHY do people laugh at the way I SWIPE on my phone to get something working?

The Urban Dictionary tells me that TECH RAGE is “an overwhelming emotion caused by frustration with one or more technological devices“. I will add to that “or technical support services”

I think that’s the correct description – an overwhelming emotion, and frustration, and not just one type of device. Yes, that’s what I’ve got.

First of all, I would like to point out that although I am retired and not a lover of gadgetry – I do love a puzzle – and I do have a graduate degree in Information Technology. (Maybe not from this decade – oops – or even this century or millennium). This is a reminder for my children – who may occasionally roll their eyes and groan when I make an old person fail with technology.

My first car phone was much larger than this!
My first car phone was much larger than this!

My specialty in my career in Information Technology was making it easy to use – and easy to understand! So perhaps the world needs me again – because there may be occasions when I am truly technically lost. Now, I confess – I remember using punch cards, I remember when a laptop was a big heavy thing, and my car phone was the size of a shoebox. But I’m not a dinosaur, honest!

Apple Attitude

First of all, I may have a bit of an attitude about Apple. I remember doing some consulting for Apple in the 1990s – thinking “This company is going nowhere”…….Well, I called that wrong!

Apple Offices
Apple Offices

But it was true at the time, they were struggling – their operating system wasn’t very impressive, and their equipment was clunky and uninspiring and it wasn’t a happy place to visit. Maybe that’s why I had a longstanding aversion to Apple products! That, and Apple’s “batterygate” – it’s former strategy of deliberately slowing down old iPhones, and it’s strategy of using proprietary technology – like that charging cord that won’t fit any of the other devices in my household. That just isn’t right! I feel the tech rage starting again………

– But then – down at the hospital waiting room, some 90ish year old ladies were making fun of my android cell phone. They snootily swished through their apps on their iPads.

My Fancy New IPhone

I recently received a swooshie new Iphone. I am excited to improve my photography, and hopefully learn some new features. My husband was wise enough to buy me a fancy case for it and I also received a pretty bag to carry it in. So far So good.

Three of my kids were home when I opened the gift, but one was away – so I sent him a new text – “I got a new phone”. He didn’t respond, but we spoke in the meantime over another phone, so I continued to text every day or so.

Texting
Texting

He didn’t respond.

Texting
Texting

After a few days, I got a phone call from someone I didn’t know saying “who is this and why are you texting me?”

Giant Screen

On that same day we headed out on a road trip using Siri to guide us. At some point along the way I believe I got some snowdrops or coffee on the screen. When we tried to get directions restarted, I discovered that the screen was ginormous! I couldn’t reduce the font, and I couldn’t read anything on the screen or even turn the phone off. From my husband’s phone, I called my daughter who was at the top of a ski hill, 3000kms away. She couldn’t stop laughing and told me to tap the phone screen with three fingers – which eventually worked. In the meantime I had called the emergency service by accident.

Calling Tech Support

Tech Support
Tech Support – Photo by Olha Ruskykh on Pexels.com

What is your experience in calling tech support for your services?

  • On one occasion my husband called his office tech support for issues with computer connectivity. The support person asked him if we had any teenagers at home to help us.
  • On another occasion I was trying to get replacement remotes for our satellite TV service. The tech support person asked if I had ever had problems with wristwatches and clocks stopping near me. He was thinking that perhaps I had a magnetic aura or something.
Remote Control
Remote Control – Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com
  • Recently we changed from Cable TV to streaming. It didn’t work properly and when I waited on hold for (exactly) 29.5 minutes – the message repeated several times while I waited on hold was – we are experiencing a high volume of calls currently, your business is very important to us, all our tech support personnel are located in Canada and they will not tolerate any abusive behaviour and will terminate the call if the conversation becomes abusive. Why do they need to tell me their employees are all in Canada, and most importantly why are all of their customers angry? I’ve never not waited on hold with this company, so if our business is so important why are we always on hold?
Tech Support Call Centre
Tech Support Call Centre Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • Finally, we recently tried to install satellite TV at our island cottage. The support person told us the technician would be coming by to install it. It’s an island, we said, and it’s winter. The technician will take the ferry, she said. We smiled at the thought of a ferry finding our island, perhaps there is an icebreaker we didn’t know about!
Winter Island - Waiting for tech support to take the ferry
Winter Island – Waiting for tech support to take the ferry

20 thoughts on “Older Adults and Tech Rage

      1. I TOTALLY agree, “blogging is free therapy” When I
        find myself getting stressed on something I want to
        blog/write, till I can destress myself to think again.

        Like

  1. You gave in too soon. I too have an Android phone. It works well and seems so intuitive. My mom, who is 93, has a new Apple phone. That thing is impossible to figure out. The tiny keyboard requires such unique methods to make it work that I’ve given up. Everything seems to require a different language than I can speak as nothing is where I expect it to be. There are some nice features but overall I can’t understand why people use those things. Then again, 90% of the world’s cell phones are Android. It’s just in North America and Europe that Apple dominates. Oh and her computer, which is getting old now, sits in her den unused. She has no use for it. I’ve tried my best but I can’t make sense of the thing. I’ve always been comfortable around Windows, and Android. Everything just seems to be where it ought to be. Enjoy your Apple phone. I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glen – I am quite sure your mother could teach me how to use my phone. I get quite frustrated with it, and do all the wrong things, but then I take a nice picture or scan documents with it and I am quite impressed with myself! I confess to still hiding my old phone for just in case.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes we need you back in the IT world to fix everything! Way too complicated. And I do have a teen at home, but he’s only 14 and I still know more than he does! OMG. I feel your pain, but thanks for the laughter, too. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our favourite technology minute happened at Chiracuahua (sp?) National Monument in SE Arizona. The docent (of our “mature” years) was trying to start the introductory video, without much success. Eventually, she turned to us and said, “You’ll have to excuse me. We just got this new system and there was no teen-ager in the box.” We all howled with laughter because we all knew exactly what she meant.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not computer illiterate either. Yet my biggest problem with technology as you allude to would be the lack of human contact to rectify a problem. Large entities like Yahoo and Stub Hub have frustrated me more as immediate or semi immediate assistance by phone is lacking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh boy. Without us old IT pioneers there would be no IT. Who made it easy for the teenagers? Us. We need more humans on the phone and a usability expert for every programmer. Meantime at such moments I summon the spirit of my living-but-retired trainer and tell myself, Calm down, Rachel. One step at a time. You will figure this out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lillie, I feel your pain. I too have had difficulties with technology. I refuse to “chat” when I need an answer. I prefer talking to someone who can understand what I am trying to say.
    I first learned how to use a computer back in the early 1980’s when disks were 14 inches wide and 5 inches thick. It took 12 disks to run our radio station. I could “go into the basement” (DOS) and fix my own problems. Our system provider wanted to hire me for their tech support team but I wasn’t willing to move 60 miles from home, husband and children.
    We left the radio business and I didn’t touch a computer for about 13 years. I was lost in the netherworld.
    I’ve gotten better (a daily Blog and work computer) but it is still sometimes very frustrating. I also hate “upgrades”.
    Thanks for letting me RANT. It feels good. My children and grandchildren do not understand…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does feel so much better to rant doesn’t it? But then, I have to figure something else out online and another “Chatbot” appears…. it’s endless! Thanks for sharing your rant!!

      Like

  7. Lol, loved your rants. But this piece didn’t make you sound old in the slightest. There’s so much energy here, and the part about your kid asking you who you were was a funny bit. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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