Use It or Lose It

I awakened feeling anxious, and my unease increased as the morning trudged along. Finally, telling myself I could delay no longer, I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans, took a deep breath, and logged onto Facebook, determined to stay there until I figured it out how to use all its features or died with my fingers twitching on  the keyboard.



Technology scares me, but each time I learn another facet of it, I feel my brain flexing its muscles. “Well,” I told myself proudly after I found friends, sent messages, updated my status, inserted a photograph, and responded to others, “Maybe fossils can use Facebook.”

Even though I’ve made progress, I continue to distrust technology and assume I’m incapable of tackling anything new. Judging from the Plaxo hubbub, my hesitance might be genetic.

A few years ago, my siblings and I received email notification that my older brother, Bob, had invited the rest of us to join him on Plaxo, whatever that is. We all like Bob. We forgave him long ago for sneaking into the basement and eating all the fruit cocktail Mom bottled as a special treat. So we signed up.

When we received no further messages, we called one another, asking, “What is Plaxo, anyway? Sounds vaguely dental, doesn’t it? Is Bob losing it?” Finally, we went to the source. Blaine called Bob: “What the heck is Plaxo, and why did you want us on it?”

“Heck, Blainer, I don’t know. I didn’t join anything.”

Right. He lied about the fruit cocktail, too.

A few months later, I received an invitation to join Desktop Dating. The invitation came from my oldest brother, a 77-year-old, married, great-grandfather.

Evidently, my family isn’t equipped for the brave new world we’re being forced to enter. But I’ll keep plugging away at the confusing wold of online activity; and when I master a new skill, I’ll congratulate myself for giving my mind a workout.

Maybe it will reward me by sticking around for a while.

Have some thoughts
about ways to nourish your mind
or the importance of doing so?
I’d like to hear.

Comments about Do Some Good: an Uneven Journey
Only one comment last week, but it was a treasure, too good to be captured in a summary. To read Mercy’s response, scroll down and click on the title Do Some Good below this post, then when it is loaded, click on the apostrophe to the right of the title. It will be worth the effort.


8 thoughts on “Use It or Lose It

    • So good to hear from you, Jacke. Oh, yes, SUDOKU—as a word person, I resisted it until I realized it’s a logic and reasoning challenge, not a math problem. And it really challenges your brain power.


  1. It is daunting, isn’t it? It’s been trial and error for me! Within the 1st few months of having my own computer, feeling way too confident, I hit the restore button and took out my computer! Restore means wiping out everything and basically restoring your computer in its original state. Thank goodness I have a computer guru who fixes my mistakes!


  2. About 16 years ago a friend that Janet knows well told me I needed a computer. What? Why? He said “either get on board now or get left behind”. I bought one and struggled through a steep learning phase, but I’m eternally grateful for that forward thinking advice.

    Billl Gates and others have generously donated laptops and computers to schools in low income areas. I wish the elderly was another focus group that received iPads or laptops and instructions in their use. A local Opthomologist recommends iPads and Readers for his low viison patients who can then increase the size of fonts and read the lit screens. They’re easier for gnarled hands to hold than heavy books.

    Many of my self-taught aging friends (my age) communicate with distant family on a daily basis and would otherwise be quite isolated. The internet keeps the world open for aged users. Current information and learning new skills keeps that older brain from getting soggy! The disabled who can no longer walk or enjoy past entertainment can sit with a hand held device or at a computer. They also can know the pride in learning a new skill, and let’s admit it, computers can be darned fun.

    Stay with it through hours of frustrated learning and you’ll be rewarded. Just my opinion, of which I have many!!


    • Thanks for your thought-provoking insights, Mercy. I’d never thought about the importance of social media to the disabled and the elderly, providing a way to stay connected with loved ones and the world—but I should have.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s