By Nancy Huth
Some years ago, there was a movie out called “Lost in Translation.” In the movie the main character, played by Bill Murray, nervously confronts he Japanese custom of bowing. It appealed to me because I had lived in a foreign country where some customs were daunting. Subtle cultural differences can be puzzling, if not dumbfounding. In Germany they shake hands – all the time, every time, even with close relatives. In this area of Geauga County people hug. We are grasped, enfolded, embraced. This can be disconcerting to foreigners used to bowing or shaking hands.
But now to the title of this article. Today we can be “Lost in Technology.” Recently I googled the word “hash tag” after hearing it so often. I had hoped that it would magically reveal its meaning sooner or later, but finally decided that I did not want to embarrass myself somewhere by blurting out, “What’s a hash tag?” Those of you in the know can skip the next few sentences.
After the pound sign # (also known as a hash tag) there is a word, or words, or letters and numbers. If there is more than one word, each must be capitalized, though written together as in #TechDummy. When you click on this hash tag it will bring you to a host of similarly related topics. For example, let’s say there is a hashtag for blue jeans and you want to buy a pair, but aren’t sure which kind or brand. You click on #BlueJeans to see who is wearing them, what kind they are wearing, who likes them, etc. You can spend (waste?) a lot of time in this endeavor. Now I may be showing my age, but to me the brain-numbing question still remains: who cares? Who cares what blue jeans you, or anyone else for that matter, buys. Yes, I am showing my age.
Today, to maneuver down the tech highway we also have to understand abbreviations. LOL for example. My sister thought it meant “little old lady.” Well, lots of laughs on her. This year I took up texting. As the saying goes, “We text, therefore, we are.” A lovely 12-year-old girl taught me how to do it. It’s called “messaging” on my iPad. I feel quite cool doing it.
I hope you didn’t miss the tech train. It’s hard to hop on it as it gains speed, but this is our world.
Back in the late 80s when computers started being the rage, I took a beginner’s class offered to women only. We felt free to ask questions without fear of being belittled. Despite being somewhat tech-aware, I still use a flip phone and years ago deactivated my Facebook account. Nothing is more soul-soothing than sitting in the living room in the evening with the TV off and a good book in your lap. Ahhhh!
Nancy Huth has been writing for the Middlefield Post since 2007. Before moving to Middlefield in 2005 she taught English as a second language in Germany where she lived for 30 years with her German husband, Dieter.