FIONA LOONEY

KITCHEN SINK DRAMA

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS - Don’t miss Fiona Looney’s bril­liant col­umn, with her unique take on mod­ern Ire­land, only in the Ir­ish Daily Mail ev­ery Wed­nes­day.

Iam find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to turn on the tele­vi­sion. I don’t mean that I can’t bear the re­lent­less bad news and the laugh­ing bankers — though I will con­cede that that is not help­ing mat­ters — what I mean is that phys­i­cally, lit­er­ally, I am find­ing it too hard to turn on the tele­vi­sion.

In the good old days, turn­ing on the tele­vi­sion in­volved a short walk across the room, a push on a but­ton and then — and this is how old I am — a sim­ple choice be­tween the 405 and the 625 but­ton.

Later, re­mote con­trols came in and made us fat and lazy. And be­cause I have al­ways pre­sumed that tech­nol­ogy is sup­posed to make life eas­ier, I as­sumed that the next step would be that you’d just have to think about turn­ing the tele­vi­sion on and it would come to pass.

But that’s not what hap­pened at all. In or­der to turn on the new tele­vi­sion in our bed­room, you need three re­mote con­trols, two of which are al­most mad­den­ingly iden­ti­cal. You press a but­ton on one, then you press a dif­fer­ent but­ton on the sec­ond, then you se­lect some­thing called HTM12, and then you hope for the best.

I don’t know what the third one is for yet, un­less it ex­ists sim­ply to be con­fused with the sec­ond one. Most times, I just don’t bother turn­ing the tele­vi­sion on at all.

I have long sus­pected that tech­nol­ogy is not my friend, but, just lately, it feels like it has started to gang up on me. Last week, a friend asked me to scan an old pho­to­graph that I’d come across and I had to ad­mit that I’d no idea how to use the scan­ner.

She told me that she’d re­cently set two hours aside to learn how to use her own scan­ner and that when she turned it on, it in­structed her to ‘place item to be scanned here’, and then to press ‘scan’. She didn’t think that should be be­yond me, but she doesn’t know how things have been around here lately.

I can­not use our new cof­fee ma­chine. I tried Skyp­ing once and I didn’t like it be­cause it made my head look too small. I don’t know how to upload pho­tos from my cam­era to my com­puter and I can’t even coun­te­nance print­ing any. The old Twit­ter app I used on my phone has dis­ap­peared and I can’t fig­ure out how to nav­i­gate the new one. Some­body

In or­der to turn on the new TV in our bed­room, you need three re­mote con­trols... so I just don’t bother

asked me the other day if we had Net­flix and I hon­estly didn’t know the an­swer.

I do know that The Teenager and I watched Les Misérables on a tele­vi­sion set on her birth­day with­out hav­ing to buy it on a DVD. Was that Net­flix? Or did she just sprin­kle some sort of tech­no­log­i­cal pixie dust over the tele­vi­sion that made Hugh Jack­man ap­pear, as if by magic?

You know those kind of bar­codey- type boxes that are ap­pear­ing every­where with an in­vi­ta­tion to scan them on your phone? Right now, it seems more likely to me that I will cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope than I will ever fig­ure out how to do that, and — trust me — that re­ally is not very likely at all.

The temp­ta­tion now is just to give in. To ac­cept that tech­nol­ogy has passed me by and pre­pare for a twi­light life of be­ing ut­terly baf­fled by stuff that my kids kind in­de­cently easy. But if I suc­cumb to the twi­light, then I might be a very long time in the dark.

And while I know I’ll never be any sort of a tech­ni­cal whiz, I gen­uinely would like to keep up with the rest of the world as it forges ahead in ever more daz­zling ways. I just wish it was all a lit­tle eas­ier.

That old pho­to­graph I men­tioned — that was taken by a cam­era and de­vel­oped in a chemist and, had we still been back there, I would have sim­ply met up with my friend and handed it to her. To me, that was a pretty straight­for­ward process.

Now, though, it has to be scanned and emailed to her and if I’d taken it on my cam­era (which I can’t ac­tu­ally use, if I’m be­ing to­tally hon­est), then I would have had to upload it to my com­puter first. How is that progress?

Ah, I protest too much. I shall make the ef­fort, I will stare in hor­ror at the scan­ner and I’ll try to work out how new-re­lease films are mys­te­ri­ously ap­pear­ing on the tele­vi­sion.

Just as soon, that is, as I’ve fig­ured out how to turn it on.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.