There's a Cloud Over My Head

It’s not visible to the naked eye, like Pigpen’s little dust cloud, but there's some kind of a force field around me.

I don’t want to admit this. Nor do I want it to be true, but I think there’s a cloud over my head.

If not a cloud, then some kind of force field surrounds me–an anti-electronic, anti-digital, anti-technological barrier preventing me from easily using computers and cell phones. Actually using any device with a computer chip in it apparently. It’s not visible to the naked eye, like Pigpen’s little dust cloud, but it’s there.

This is baffling to me (an apt description if ever there was one). I first noticed the problem years ago, but it’s what’s happened recently that has me totally flummoxed and convinced. I readily admit I'm not the most tech savvy person around, but around me even the simplest computer issues are complicated.

You may remember . It was a big step and I thought it was going to be a fun experience. It has not been. My previous cell phone and my new one won’t communicate with each other. It seems they have conflicting operating systems and are resistant to share information with each other. They won’t sync.

My old phone, was my "go to" source for everything (appointments, meetings, names and addresses, phone numbers—you name it). Anything important, anything I needed to remember or access was in it. My new phone would welcome a transfer of all that data.

I don’t know how many contacts you keep in your address book, but mine’s has hundreds. And my calendar details stretch back and forward for years. It’s been a tedious, time-consuming task trying to retrieve and transfer information. My address book is up-to-date, I think—I hope. (If you don’t receive my letter or check in the mail, blame it on incorrect or missing information.) Transferring the details in my calendar has been more complicated. So I’m currently carrying around two phones—going back and forth between them to trying to stay on track and on time. (If I don’t show up for an appointment, please call.)

I’ve spent so many hours in the Apple store I’ve met most of the staff who work there. The Genius Bar folks are knowledgeable and pleasant, efficient and unflappable. Little by little we’re working out my issues. My computer didn’t have a current operating system on it, and that’s where much of the problem seems to have originated. Or not.

Well, I upgraded so I could use iCloud. Oops. No one mentioned the upgrade was even less compatible than my old cell phone. It wiped out my Microsoft Office programs and I couldn’t access any of my files. More tech time. More money. More stress. And that problem is nowhere near resolved.

I’m not a happy camper.

 In some ways, I’m wishing I could turn back the clock and go back to using a pocket address book and calendar. With that system, if I didn’t intentionally erase something, nothing important was lost or deleted. I have friends who still jot down important dates and events on wall calendars. If they’re reading this, they’re most likely smiling and patting themselves on the back for not jumping into this somewhat confusing world of technology. It’s like learning a foreign language. You think you know the right word for dollar in Spanish only to find out you used the word, dolor, meaning pain. (Pun intended.)

It gets worse. My Internet connection was constantly dropping me offline, so I called for tech support. After a lengthy phone session the tech gave me instructions to reset my modem and router causing me to lose my Internet connection entirely. It took an ethernet cable and more phone tech time to correct the problem. Other people get dropped and they simply turn off their modem for 30 seconds and they’re back online. Not me.

Then I tried syncing my music. Why not have music on my new phone? I actually got music that wasn’t on my computer or in any of my playlists. Even the Genius guy was scratching his head over that one. I mean, Al Bowlly singing I’ll String Along With You? Really. Not on my playlist, but I now have it on my phone. Incredible.

I’m trying to laugh at all this, but I have my moments when I can’t decide whether to scream or cry, or both. Wait, I’ve done both. Giving up my cell phone isn’t the answer, so no matter how much dolor it may cause, I’ll keep plugging away at the snafus that come my way, trying to break through that invisible wall and hoping it won’t take too many dolares to get things right.

Wish me luck, and if you know a magic spell to break the force field, let me know. For that I’d gladly spend some dolares.

Christine Spaulding February 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Air, iPod Touch...I love Apple, all the people who work there...never met a rude one...all enthusiastic, encouraging and helpful. Color me addicted to being "on" line... I would have done well as a kid in an open concept classroom with a lot going on...with a computer and internet access, the world is literally at one's fingertips, imagination. And my new iPhone 4Ss the best of all. I don't even bother with my very good digital camera....this one is good and always with me.


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