Why Does My Smartphone Make Me Feel So Stupid?
In some ways, I’m first in line to embrace technology. As a freelance writer, graduate student and now teacher, cloud computing has proved life-changing for me. Because of it, no matter what the hardware or my location, as long as I have an internet connection, I can access my all my work and personal documents and files. I mean, what’s better than that? A portable, weightless office is pretty sweet.
My enthusiasm for technology is quelled only by my inability to adapt to it quickly enough. The reality is that my learning curve is often very steep.
Take the smartphone Daisy handed me on the way in from the airport when I landed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, three days ago. Practically everyone I know in Warsaw and the States uses a smartphone. I don’t even have to comment on the ubiquitous usage here in tech-savvy Asia. I, however, have not used one before. It’s been high on my list of things to acquire, but that hasn’t happened–until now.
Here’s a snapshot into my adaptability struggles. And keep this to yourself: It took me two days to figure out how to answer my smartphone. Literally.
I know. I know. Everyone has a period of settling in with a piece of new technology. What I dislike so intensely, however, is the feeling that somehow the pain and humiliation of not being able to use the technology immediately is somehow more acute for me.
I believe this phenomenon is known as “terminal uniqueness” in 12 Step programs. We think that our case is different. While our friends might be momentarily frustrated with something like their new smartphone, we believe that only we are incapable of ever mastering it. Only we are experiencing the gut wrenching humiliation of wanting to slip into the nearest and deepest hole to be swallowed up so that no one can witness ineptitudes such as an inability to turn the device on, much less set it up to receive data and use the Maps App to guide the Mandarin speaking taxi driver to our destination.
What is your experience in adapting to new technology? Do you ever feel terminally unique?