Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse
Seeing as though I am quite young (barely an adult let’s be honest) it would be logical to assume that I have a pretty good grasp on technology. Well I don’t I am more of a technophobe than my Grandma who can’t find the ‘on’ switch to her TV so she just has to read the cover of the DVD’s we bought her last Christmas (I’m not joking, when she finally did get the TV to work, she called to tell us how much she enjoyed season 1 of The Walking Dead). I have had more problems with technology than I do with cooking which is saying something because I struggle to make two-minute noodles on a good day. I have 99 problems, and technology is every single one of them.
Let me give you a wee little run down of my misadventures with the tech:
Microwaves – The first time I used a microwave was at my friends place. It involved garlic bread and foil. I learned that foil doesn’t go in microwaves the hard way. Only a year ago I tried to defrost a croissant in the microwave. I put it in for three minutes. To say that my croissant was overcooked would be an understatement. It was so burnt it resembled a black hole. My microwave smelled of smoke for three weeks.
Toaster – Of course I understand basic toaster technique. Since a young age I was told to never put a knife in the toaster to retrieve toast, for fear of electrocution. Somehow this tip didn’t compute properly as I got a long lecture from my Mother when she stumbled across me sticking a metal fork in the microwave to get the stuck bits. Turns out it’s the metal that will get you electrocuted – it’s not just a special talent of knifes. Luckily in my new house I have wooden toaster tongs to help me if my breakfast gets stuck.
Phones – Where do I start? I have the worst luck with phones. I manage to break them, lose them and cause them to have what my phone dealer describes as ‘spontaneous technical faults’ on a regular basis. I go through phones like Kim Kardashian goes through husbands. This led me to upgrade my last phone to a new model that was marketed as “dust-proof, water-proof and shock-proof” – if only it had been Liz proof. The trusty phone managed to last me a good year with only one need for screen replacement. It even survived Africa. I thought it was invincible. However my love affair with said “super-phone” was abruptly ended last week when, days before I moved interstate, I left my phone on a 1am train in a suburb that brags it has “the highest stab rate for any station in Victoria”. Safe to say I have not got it back, nor can I afford the $700 replacement (I’m as stingy as they come and will only get a good phone if it is free on my plan). I made a cheap, speedy purchase of an inferior phone to get me through the next few months. The camera is so bad, I can’t even take selfies. The struggle is real. When I want to upload a photo to Insta, I have to borrow my Papa’s phone to take the photo. No experience In my life thus far has been more humiliating, RIP Super Phone.
Skype – Oh lordy someone send help. I can’t Skype – I just can’t do it. And do you know how difficult it is to sustain friendships and relationships with people in another state if you can’t Skype them. I’ll tell you now it is extremely hard. To make matters worse, Moy can’t Skype either. We suck. Here is a transcript of our first post-move Skype conversation.
L- Hey Moy
L- Hurry up and set your camera up so I can see you
*Moy appears in what appears to be a 3 pixel image*
L- Oh I can see you now, can you see me?
* I frantically press buttons so that I appear in all my blurry glory*
L- Oh wait is that better?
– no response-
L- Ahh moy I think you’re on mute, haha classic us we suck at skype take yourself off mute.
*moy flips to rear camera mode*
L- No, no mute Moya mute! I can see you perfectly just go back to your face.
*M flips back to front camera and is seen frantically mouthing*
L- Woah slow down I can’t hear what you’re saying
L- Oh you’re still on mute is there anyway we can fix that
*more frantic button pressing*
L- Oh shit now I’m on mute, hang on
*again with the buttons*
L- Ahh there we go that’s better. No wait its not I still can’t see you, you just look like a goldfish gulping for air. It’s no use trying to talk I can’t read lips. Seriously I have no idea what you’re trying to say.
*Moy continues imitating the goldfish*
L- Okay how about I just talk and you nod that will work!
And that was basically how our 35 minute Skype conversation went except for the parts when Moya would flip her camera and write stuff down so I could read her responses out to my family who wanted to be a part of things.
In light of this recent failure, here are our top tips for Skyping:
- Never skype on a mobile, the quality of picture is so bad you will look like you are in a low budget anime tv show
- Also, always check your settings making sure that your volume is turned up and you are not on mute.
- If one member of the conversation is filming their written replies due to a mute conversation and the other is reading their comments out to their family, avoid writing long words that are difficult to pronounce. Similarly, avoid using the abbreviation “cont.” because although it may just be a short way of saying continued, you will be frowned upon if you are reading it and yell out “ CONT WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN BY CONT”
In summary I think the advice would be if you’re anything like me or Moy for that matter then stay the flip away from technology because its just not worth it.
Posting a blog is enough technical stress for one day so I’ll just return to my Amish life for the afternoon.