Lack of remote control

Caitlyn Davey is beginning to lose her knack for new technology

The Knowledge

Caitlyn Davey is beginning to lose her knack for new technology.

My father is 56. Not that old really. But as technology grows and evolves, I always took him to be a little behind, bless his cotton socks.

The notorious text of 2010 is one such example. I was in a mad rush at work, trying to get in contact with my mother who was, as always, not answering her phone. The quick fix was to send a text message to my father, asking, ‘Is Mum home? I need to get in touch with her asap.’ To which my dear old dad responded with ‘Y’. My brow furrowed. This was no time for explanations or questions.

What does it matter why I need to know? I just need an answer for goodness’ sake! So I replied, ‘I will explain later. Is she home?’ To which, again, my dad responded with a simple ‘Y’. Now, imagine my frustration – all I needed was a simple yes or no answer.

I gave up on texting and called my dad to ask (and express my irritation). ‘Dad, is mum home or not?’ I demanded over the phone.

‘Yes she is, I told you that,’ he calmly responded. ‘No you didn’t…’

I replied, befuddled. ‘Caitlyn…’ he sighed, ‘Y means yes in text message language. I thought you knew text lingo?’

I admit, I am no techno-whizz, but I feel competent enough to navigate most technology – tablets of various brands, phones, computers and most gadgets I come across. Often when my father’s smartphone was set to something he couldn’t change (such as a 10-minute song for an email notification or how to group apps into folders on his tablet) I would swoop in with an air of superiority and show him how to resolve the issue.

So imagine my surprise when I visited homel and discovered my parents have a smart television. These high-tech pieces of machinery can whizz through internet sites, subscriptions and all kinds of fancy stuff.

I was unsettled and confused by my father’s glee when he showed me how to navigate the seven remote controls and the overwhelming number of settings.

The next day, as I tried to find my way with the controls – channels wouldn’t change, and the volume somehow was echoing and getting louder – agitation got the better of me. Finally, unable to cope with the high-tech gadgetry, I settled for watching some infomercials, and my father found me with a disgruntled and defeated look on my face. I had surrendered; it would simply not allow me to watch anything else.

His smugness only escalated after my ranting subsided and I explained my predicament. He gently told me I was trying to use the remote for the sound system to change the channel of the television.

‘I didn’t want to watch television anyway,’ I muttered as I wandered to the kitchen to engage in a less technical activity. The kettle seemed like a safer option.

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