The other day, I stopped at a gas station in Little Falls where I often get my gas because they have a nice coffee bar and is connected to a car wash. Low and behold, they have gotten new gas pumps. I have seen these same pumps show up more and more over the last couple of years. For some reason, I am unable to work them. I usually use my credit card. This new one likes to ask all sorts of questions and depending on your answer, it gives an instruction to do something else. First I put my card in. It was rejected. I turned the card and reinserted it. Again it was rejected. Phooie!, I thought, and pushed the button that said “pay inside”. Apparently, one is not allowed to change one’s mind. Nothing happened. I could have gone into the station and asked for help, which I have done before, but this time I just started to cry. I got in my car and headed across town to another station that still has the old pumps that I am used to.
This may seem a bit comical to you, but to me it is not. It speaks to what it is like to be mentally disabled when trying to meet a need. I am not using the wrong term. My mental abilities are changing a little due to may age, but what is really changing is technology that requires abilities I have never needed to develop. I am not able to do certain tasks. When I tell people my problem, I usually get a run down on how to do the technological thing. “All you have to do is this, that, and the other thing.” That sometimes leads me to cry again, though I wait until the helper is out of range. It would be much more helpful if they would simply do the task for me.
Fears are mounting. I fear updates on my phone and computer. Each one means new options that I don’t want, new vocabulary that I don’t understand, new ways to get information I used to know how to get. I fear clicking things only to send information where it ought not go or deleting stuff I will need in the future.
It is a gray day and on days like this, whatever negativity that lingers in me will often rise to the surface. Technology is a problem for me and it will probably only get worse as the techies move happily along making changes because they can. It doesn’t matter if some of us are left behind.