The perils and positives of technology


You gotta love technology.

Or do you? Sometimes I don’t.

I have to admit that I’m a little intimidated by the wide range of gadgets, gizmos and devices that have become essential to my life and work. But I live in the Age of Technology, so I have to learn to play nicely with computers, smartphones, software and all their associates.

Frustration sometimes comes to a head as I try to troubleshoot crashing computer software and programs that don’t do what I think they should.

We work on Macs in The Jewish Voice office and mine is an all-Mac household, so I have a certain bias toward the easier-to-use Apple products.  But the software we use to produce the newspaper is quite complicated – and the frustration level mounts when we just can’t understand what has happened to a computer that suddenly refuses to work. It seems some sort of glitch happens almost every week.

Last issue, we limped to press a day late. A couple of hard drives failed – and our ability to publish on time was stopped in its tracks. For a newspaper, that’s pretty frustrating since meeting deadlines is an essential part of putting out any publication. As a matter of fact, nobody can remember the last time we were late.

But you probably didn’t notice the delay because our printer, Graphic Development Inc., of Hanover, Massachusetts, was able to make up for our missed deadline, and the paper made it to the Providence post office in time to get mailed on Friday, as usual. And Special Delivery, the Rhode Island company that delivers the papers to synagogues and stores around the state, adjusted its delivery schedule.

We rarely miss deadlines, and we have long relationships with these companies, so they helped us get the papers out on time. A shout-out to both companies: Thanks so much for your cooperative and can-do attitude!

We can’t live without technology, but I wish I felt more comfortable with it. Like many of you, I didn’t grow up with computers and smartphones. I don’t have the comfort level of my children, who have used these devices since they could talk.

Honestly, computers are neither logical nor intuitive to me.  I’m on a learning curve. And sometimes you have to explain technical things to me more than once.

But I push forward. After all, the advantages of all this technology almost always outweighs my struggles.

I came to the smartphone world fairly late. Now I can’t imagine my life without one. It lets me stay connected to my family, my friends and my work world. There’s always a camera in my pocket, and a notebook, too. If I’m lost, I can look up directions, and the phone helps me find my way.

And publishing The Voice is easier and faster as technology advances. 

So, new and better and more thoroughly backed-up hard drives are now in place –  and we’re hoping to never miss another deadline because of technology issues.

Of course, as I write this, a blizzard is on the horizon. Even technology can’t help us in the face of a good old-fashioned storm.