Sorting through papers, I came across Joan Bundtzen’s letter, probably submitted to ADN last year. Like Joan, I’ve not only noticed that things are harder to do in the computer age but find most frustrating, confusing and sometimes even impossible. I too lived in simpler times, like when you hung laundry to dry on outside clotheslines, watched TV for free, could call an airline and get round-trip tickets, instead of one-way, each with a different price, that didn’t cost $15 extra because you did it by phone.
Now I’m an “elder” who is not adept at electronics like computers and cellphones. Frankly, I don’t want to be. We are now punished for trying to get something done by paper or phone or in person, the way I grew up with. We’re either charged extra fees for not doing things online or we have to scrounge around for something on paper, like the Permanent Fund dividend application, or find out you cannot do it at all.
Now there’s impossible-to-understand “streaming” cable TV, which was forced upon us, or have no TV at all. I’ve asked GCI many times what, exactly, “streaming” is and never understood their answer. Now I think what it means is that my TV is now a computer and television reception comes through that somehow. Of course, it could stream through my laptop computer because I had to have one to have Yukon installed, but I’m not sure. Woe to me if I didn’t have a computer.
By the way, I don’t Skype either, because I prefer the old-fashioned way of communicating by phone, mail, or in person. It’s useless to even imagine that these large corporations and tech companies would offer easy-to-understand-and-use-services, especially for older people. As my beloved brother would say, “Welcome to America!”
— Augusta Reimer
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