Staying with grandchildren is always fun until they go to bed and its time for me to sit down to watch some TV until their parents get home. That’s when the challenges begin. At home we have a simple TV with an antenna to pull in the basic stations. Our kids have TV’s that are smarter than I am.

TV is just one of the technologies that confuse a few of us older folks.

What other technology can we expect next?

Well I have successfully resisted the idea of putting my appointments on the calendar on my phone. I’m probably the only one who actually writes appointments on a calendar. In my effort to impress my kids with my ability to manage computerized systems I decided last year I’d use the calendar on my phone. I figured it was a perfect year to try it since almost everything had been cancelled anyway.

I glanced at my phone one morning and there was an alert on the screen. It seems I had been scheduled to write my column between 8 and 8:15 a.m. Apparently the cell phone had analyzed my activities during the last year and has determined by then my brain will be working in a faster gear, maybe due to some hormonal drug that aging women like me were supposed to take in order to keep up with the pressures of dealing with the pandemic.

Soon after I got my column written I got another alert on my phone. It was time to call the state health department to report how I’m feeling. This twice-daily report is really important, I was told, because if I had the least bit of a sore throat, Uncle wanted to know.

I no more than got done clicking off the answers on this survey when I got another alert that it’s now time to join my virtual instructions for filing my income taxes on line. Hey, I didn’t have any income – COVID eliminated my job. No matter. I was still supposed to file the report.

I decided not to use the calendar on my phone and go back to the hand written calendar. That way no one can track my habits.

So after spending a year watching more TV than usual, apparently some computer system figured out my routine that way. I won’t be surprised if this is what TV watching will be like now.

Supper is done and as I clear the last crumb from the table (no robot to do that yet) our TV clicks on automatically. It knows that at exactly 6:22 p.m. each evening I am ready to sit down to watch. It automatically flips to a romantic comedy because the system indicates that’s my favored type of show. At precisely 10 p.m. it automatically turns off, indicating to me that it must be bedtime.

Early in the morning I will receive an e-mail asking me to fill out a survey to evaluate the movie I watched last night in order to provide the opportunity to fine-tune what the computer selects for me tonight. I will also be asked to evaluate the performance of my high-tech phone. I won’t be able to respond because I just threw it in the lake.

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