On new cars, moving fast, and being a ‘technowienie’

Hyper SpeedMy husband and I bought a new car the other day, replacing our old SUV. My friend did the same but they got their car loan through a Money Expert search, might be worth considering for ourselves in the future. The experience drove home how fast technology is moving and how overwhelming it is. The last time we visited a dealership to buy a new car was in 2004. What a difference twelve years makes.

The SUV we bought has keyless entry and ignition,a backup camera, windshield wipers that sense the rain and select the appropriate speed, a navigation system/audio system that you talk to. Of course, it has Bluetooth, which I’d never used until I got this car. I can now tell my car to phone home.

We bought the vehicle in another state and as we were driving home, we got a warning message that we’d been driving for a long time and should consider taking a break.

The salesman spent a half hour explaining “the basics” of how the car worked before we took it for a test drive, then after we bought it, a technician spent an hour going over the features in more detail. I took notes. I felt like I needed to take driver’s ed all over again. Or at least get a 10- year-old to advise me.

Sometimes I’m resistant to new technology. The frequency and speed of change is scary and overwhelming. It feels like I can never switch on the cruise control of life and coast. I’m constantly having to learn something new. Do I ever get to “finish”? To graduate? I no sooner get comfortable with something, and it changes!

When I was born, we had a black and white TV (got a color one when I was 12) with a picture tube and 13 channels broadcast via antenna. A rotary dial black telephone, a car where the only push button was on the AM radio. I had a phonograph that played 45 & 33 rpm vinyl records. And those things existed with only minor modifications for a long time.

Now, everything is computerized, connected to the internet or operated via satellite. And everything gets improved and modified constantly.

Some people love technology and rush to embrace new developments. I do it when I have to (I didn’t start buying CDs until I went to a “record store” and discovered records had ceased to exist).

With every passing day, though, it becomes clear I need to keep up or I’ll get left so far behind I’ll wake up Amish one day.

One of my goals this year was to stop being such a “technowienie” and to make more of an effort. I upgraded my cell phone and actually learned how to use it. And this new car is another big step.

Technology has improved my life. I couldn’t do what I do (be an author) without a computer and the internet. I love my Kindle, and my smart phone is amazing and so is the car. So I am moving forward. Life should be an adventure. And it is.

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Related reading: I read an interesting sci-fi book recently about our dependency on technology. Cyberstorm by Mathew Mather is about what would happen if the internet went down. It makes you realize how vulnerable our dependency makes us .

 

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10 Responses to On new cars, moving fast, and being a ‘technowienie’

  1. Congrats on the new car. I hope you figure it all out soon! LOL. I am like you and my kids help me all the time. It’s kind of sad. Now and again, I manage to set something up on my website or Facebook and am super impressed with myself! I imagine this is how things will be for me always…

    Enjoy the car. And take those rest breaks it suggests!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I wish we had a child at home. Alas, my husband and I are on our own. The blind leading the blind. Lol.

  2. Lisa Medley says:

    You’ve come a long way, baby.

  3. Leigh Smith says:

    I am moving into this new world, kicking and screaming all the way. I too wish my grands were closer to guide me through this new world but alas, they’re not. It’s a slow process.

  4. I’m not resistant to change, but everything is upgraded so fast that I cannot afford to buy new stuff every time the technology gets better. So, I wait until what I’m using can no longer keep up before I get something new. I admit though, my kids generally know how to use all the gadgets better than I do.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      That’s another aspect of the fast change — the cost. But I’ve also found that as technology improves, it can get cheaper. I’m paying way less for a computer now than I did when I got my first one twenty years ago–and it’s way more powerful.

      • Yes, that’s very true. I remember when I purchased my first computer in high school. It had a 1GB hard drive and cost me $1000. Now, you can get memory sticks with more storage space.

        • Cara Bristol says:

          My first computer was a 486. I paid $2000. I think it had a 5 MG hard drive. That didn’t include the printer either.

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