Find your 50 / Midlife Marsha

“Love the Luddite in You”

Editor’s Note:  Luddite\Noun\Broad Definition:  “One who is opposed to technological change.”

If you already know what luddite means, carry-on, smartypants.


I’m not exactly a Luddite.  However,  I realize at the age of 50, I am technologically challenged.

I own a smartphone which, I admit, is smarter than me.

With my smartphone, I can text, make phone calls, take and send photos but I haven’t figured out how to transfer those photos to my computer.  I can also download podcasts but I can’t manage the crazy number of steps it takes to buy and download music.  Maybe I really can’t download music because I’m cheap and I can honestly say I like the randomness of radio stations. I never know when I’ll hear something old, something new or something that’s just plain ‘out of this world’.  I like being able to flip between stations.  Who knows where the radio station and my mood will take me?  I may end up on NPR or the hip local high-school station that plays just about everything and anything.

At home, I have email which really isn’t so useful anymore since all my friends have now migrated to Facebook. I haven’t gone there yet. The rebel in me sees Facebook as giving in to the ‘dark side’. I guess I am afraid no one wants to know where I ate lunch.  By the way, it was at home and it was leftovers, again.  I don’t think anyone wants to know which TV show I watched.  By the way it was The Voice.  And I am positively sure no one wants to know that for the third day in a row I pulled on my favorite Levi’s 501′s because I am determined to wear them until I have holes in the knees.

But here is what this ‘Luddite’ likes to do with the technology around me.  I use the internet daily to keep up with the world around me, which means researching everything from former presidents and old paintings.  And I actually know enough to troubleshoot computer problems for my 87-year old dad.


Sometimes you have to go ‘old school’


As someone straddling the 20th and 21st Centuries, I know how to navigate a phone book, which I am convinced my kids cannot.  I know this because my daughter and I were running late and we needed her doctor’s number to set up an appointment for her annual physical.  We couldn’t get that number in what is now considered the ‘conventional’ way because all three of our computers in the house were shut down.  So, ‘Googling’ was not an option. I suggested she open the phone book and I immediately got the obligatory teenage ‘eye roll’.  My daughter hauled the phone book out of a desk door, blew the dust off, slammed it on the counter and in a very exasperated tone said, “now what?!”  Mom to the rescue.

Here is some more cool stuff I can do with what I do know.  Growing up with a rotary phone and not one that automatically displays the numbers we want to call, I can recite from memory telephone numbers of the ones I love.  Without benefit of a computer, I had to learn how to write in cursive and I currently help keep the United States Postal Service in business when I actually mail cards and letters to my family and friends.

I haven’t abandoned letter writing because awhile back I received cards on my birthday.  My friends sent cards that year because they knew I would be yearning for one from my mom.  They knew I wouldn’t get that card because she had passed away.

I guess what I am looking for is balance in our crazy world where being “connected” limits our downtime and our time to reflect who we are, where we’ve come and where we are going.  I’m connected to the world by my smartphone and computer but I don’t want my life defined by them. You may not know what I had for lunch, but if you ask – I’ll tell you.



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