Technology is a wonderful thing. At least, it is when it works properly.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t really get into all this kind of stuff. I have a cellphone so old that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the latest and greatest phones. It lets me make and receive calls and texts, though — most of the time. Shoot, I only turn it on occasionally when I have a reason to do so, so if you have my cell number, realize that you may or may not get in touch in a timely way or at all. I know the day is coming when I’ll have to upgrade, but for right now, that’s all I need. No internet access, no games, no “Face Time,” I think they call it. No huge bill every month, either.
And then there’s the landline. Yes, I still have phones hooked up to a phone jack, which provided endless mirth to a dear friend when he’d call and find me tethered to a phone cord. These are the same phones my family used when we moved to this house in 1996. Hey, they still work — most of the time. When they malfunction, it’s because of the provider instead of the phone itself.
We can’t forget the computer, either. It was purchased around the time my first grandchild was born — she will be 12 in October. Like its owner, the computer is showing its age, moving slower than smoke off cold cow manure but still managing to get the work done — most of the time. And like its owner, the old girl can be contrary if you push her too far or overload her brain with too much data. The time is coming when I will have to get a new computer. I know that. Nothing lasts forever, does it? It will be nice to have one of the fancy new computers that doesn’t have this huge tower taking up space on an already cluttered desk, but that’s something to be considered a bit later down the road.
Now, the biggest bane of my existence is due to the provider of my cable, internet and phone services. Since it’s all wound up in one nice package, I occasionally lose all three services when the power flickers or the provider has some kind of issue. Most recently, the issue has been with email. I have two email addresses. The first one I’ve had ever since this computer was purchased, and the second one was set up in 2017 and intended to be used for work purposes. I get both personal and work-related messages on both so have to flip back and forth, especially when I’m expecting columns and features from freelancers to be included in Blount County Horizon, a publication of The Daily Times, of which I’m the editor.
Unless I’m missing something, I have to sign out of one account in order to sign into the other. The internet service provider thinks when I do this too quickly that someone is hacking my email … and it locks me out. I’ve had to change my password at least half a dozen times in the past few months after jumping through the ISP hoops. I appreciate their vigilance on my behalf, but seriously? The last time it happened I told the ISP customer service rep to put a note on my account that yes, it is I, not a hacker, who has my passwords.
Another problem that’s cropped up is that the email account I use primarily for work didn’t send emails although the log ensured they were sent. I found out this little tidbit a couple of weeks ago when my Sunday features and column weren’t received and my replies to the city editor asking late on Friday where the work was, and sending the stories a second time, didn’t go through, either. It wasn’t until a friend texted and asked if I was OK that I realized we had a problem. She said she hadn’t heard from me on email in several days and thought I might be ill. This was on Saturday morning. After sending test emails to my friend, we saw that the constipated email had resolved itself during the night before.
I was able to get the work in Saturday, very late, but the city editor made sure it was in, bless his heart. I still don’t know what was going on with that.
Yes, technology is a wonderful thing when it works properly. Thank goodness, it does work properly — most of the time.