Senior Living

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Health & Spirit

Luddite Woes

Doug Mayberry on

Q: I can't seem to keep the technology I have functioning right. I'm always running into problems, especially with my landline phone and television remote.

I'm starting to think that I'm just too old to keep up with technology. My family still lives in the area and is willing to come over and help me with my problems. But it's a little embarrassing to have my grandkids come over and find that I have a problem with a 30-second fix.

What should I be doing differently?

A: Unfortunately, technology is always changing, and it's hard to keep on top of. Simple things such as finding a TV channel are complicated by several steps that come along with today's increased options and functionalities.

Before assuming that the technology is inherently impossible and glitchy, make sure that you're doing what you need to do on your end to keep it running. Sometimes, there's a simple solution.

Once it gets harder to hear the dial tone of our phones, many problems seem to suddenly arise. It's harder to tell the difference between a phone that's functional and one that is not.

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I've found myself facing several problems with my own phones (both landline and cellphone)! There have been many times when I've thought the phone was kaput only to find that the battery was dead. I had forgotten to charge it.

You may be used to keeping the phone away from its charger. Not being able to hear the low-battery warning beep causes problems. The same is true for your TV remote, so keep batteries on hand.

The most rudimentary fix for tech problems is to turn the device off, wait 30 seconds and then turn it back on again.

Next time a family member comes over to help you with a technology problem, watch how they do it. Especially if it's a recurrent problem, you can write down a list of steps for next time.

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