Guest Column: Online overload

MEEKER | If one more online contact or provider tells me to use a new platform/software, upload a new app, or watch a video tutorial, I think I will scream. Last week was a total technology frustration, including my cell phone that would not ring when called.

Now that we’re all living and working in the cyber world, these additional frustrations will give us more to worry about than a lack of toilet paper.

Although a senior citizen, I am not new to online technology. My husband and I have worked remotely for years, adapted to various clients’ technology, sustained two websites and newsletters, and kept updating our technology skills without any tech staff.

We can Facetime with our grandchildren, text (slowly with many typing errors), use the iPad to accept credit card purchases, pay bills online, and keep up with email across the country.

Probably like me, you’re suddenly trying to do everything online. The internet must be overloaded. I couldn’t pay my WREA bill (although it loaded next day), nor log onto to State of Colorado to pay vehicle license fees (thankfully county processed check I left in drop box), nor access the online Herald Times version, (thanks, Niki, for connecting me again.)

Even more frustrating, an in-progress artist-in-residence application asked me to switch from mail to applying via Google Apps that I have never used and couldn’t get working. Another art project sent Xcel attachments that would not load on my computer, (turns out it was their error as no attachment existed). The church wanted me to connect via Zoom (never heard of it, but it is easy).

Folks! The online resources you use every day may not be familiar to me. I will do my best, but I cannot master a new technology every day. I am very grateful for the support so many people provided to me last week, many of whom I have never met. 

Along with our other kindnesses in this tough time, please remember to help others with these new tech challenges and provide work arounds when possible.  Don’t assume your knowledge base is universal. Be patient and remember others’ systems may not be processing communications as quickly as you send them.

As we survive the other challenges of this pandemic, we will also learn and expand our tech abilities.  I’m already working on a Zoom session with my girlfriends who live across the country. Last week’s ignorance is this week’s bliss.

By KAYE SULLIVAN | Special to the HT