I‘m ecstatic to learn there is a name for my condition – the one that causes me to retreat to the corner and suck my thumb whenever someone launches a discussion about anything remotely technical.
I get very nervous around people using things like I-Pods and Blackberries, andplease don’t ask me about computer Ram or gigabytes. I have no idea what they are, just that I have them and they’re apparently something to brag about. The truth is I’m not sure some of the advances of the last few decades are contributing to my quality of life all that much.
I still prefer an old rotating dial on my oven to the digital one I’m stuck with. Ditto for the tuner on my truck radio. I don’t like being constantly connected to society at large by a cellphone that finds irretrievable hiding places in the bottom of my purse. And I’m convinced that my growing forgetfulness is somehow being aggravated by whatever is inside those little plastic cell buttons that require needle-like fingers to dial with accuracy.
I first became aware that my condition had a name last weekend as I attemptedto spend some quality time with my two sons in Nashville. As we settled into a booth atone of the city’s hottest new restaurants, I was all prepared to discuss my latest culinary success and my bumper cabbage crop. They had other things on their minds and kind of glazed over whenever I brought up a domestic topic.
“Do you need an HDMI interface to connect your peripherals?” asked one sonright in the middle of a fascinating story about my new puppy Lucky Dog. “What did you do about your media center? “ interrupted the other as I described an addition I’m planning to my home.
They embarked on a heated debate about flat screen televisions, dual core processors and megahertz which must have hurt like the dickens. I nodded off in my soup. They were still engaged in animated technobabble and no one noticed as I leaned over and ate their desserts.
Later, we browsed the celebrated Hatch Poster Shop in Printer’s Alley, a notorious holdout in a printing world dominated by digital systems. I spotted an interesting poster printed in bold primitive type. It shouted “Luddites, Unite!”
I asked my son what a Luddite was, and he explained that it was someone whorejects progress – much the way yours truly has been known to do. Apparently it dates to the early 1800s when a group of disgruntled textile workers demonstrated against the development of labor saving devices which claimed their jobs.
I’m thrilled to know there’s a name for my disability and that someone somewhere is trying to unite us. I bought the poster and it is taped to my laptop computer that has never been in anyone’s lap because I’m afraid to unplug it.