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  • Writer's pictureDancing Grammie (aka Queen Lori)

Internet Illiteracy

Internet Illiteracy

For many years I was missing a major skill. The world around me was changing, but I wasn’t – at least not in the beginning. I wasn’t “plugged in” like others around me, and felt like I was missing out. Photos were being shared, letters were sent and received, and announcements came and went, but not for me. So, one day, I decided to make a change. Instead of being afraid of this new challenge, I embraced it. Of course, I’m talking about the computer.

I decided to learn to use it in order to communicate with my family. Apparently, I was missing information that could only be seen online. When the family started emailing photos of my twenty-three grandchildren, my interest piqued. It was time to bite the bullet and learn how to get their emails and attachments. Piece of cake. Emails were easy to send and receive, and I wondered why it took me so long to use this once-threatening machine. However, finding the attachments with the emails turned out to be a problem. Luckily someone was usually around to do that for me, so it didn’t matter. Right? I was sitting pretty, or so I thought.

Next came The Facebook. From the moment I signed on, my illiteracy kicked in. The page was columned, covered, and confusing. To find someone, I was told to put their name in the upper left-hand search bar. However, when I did this, a number of choices appeared to select almost anything – even to read the daily news! I was also fascinated by the notices received from people who wanted to contact me or share information. I would reply to the message but always wondered if they really received it. The mojos, I mean emojis, fascinated me too. I don’t use them – yet.

“Friends” were also listed with information about themselves, but most of them were total strangers. All I wanted to do was see pictures of my grandchildren! Why did the computer have to get so difficult when I was just catching on? Finally, after typing my children’s names in the “search” bar and then clicking, their pictures appeared. Alleluia!

I hate to say it, but it gets worse. Since I was crowned queen at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, people have been encouraging me to become a writer. At my age, this would be a good time – it’s kind of now or never. However my daughter, a published writer herself, would not allow me to use my typewriter and suggested a word processor. At first, she set me up on Google Docs to write my stories, but it gave me fits when I couldn’t find a blank page or return to a draft. So I purchased Microsoft Word which was much better especially because it came with technical support that enables me to call in for help. I’ve used it so many times that the phone techs know me and immediately access my computer remotely to solve my endless questions. Problems still arise that drive me crazy, but fortunately my candy tin under my chair provides some relief.

My learning curve remains high. Libraries, folders, drafts, and documents have been saved randomly. There are also “Cut & Paste”, “Pop Up”, “Add On”, etc. The list continues. But I am beginning to catch on. I just found the same version of my story three times, and it was in the right folder. Another Alleluia!

There is still much to learn, and it can be frustrating. My favorite and most-used key on the board is “delete.” It means to cancel, but I will never delete my plans to become a writer. Hopefully my computer will get the message and cooperate.


Meet Author Julie Osborne

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