The Laments of a Technically Challenged Teenager

By Bridget Guan:

I have a confession to make. I am 17 years old, and I cannot handle technology to save my life. Alright, that might be a bit of an overstatement. In an axe-murderer coming after me situation, I would probably be able to dial 911 on my cell phone. Anything past that, though, maybe not. Take this most recent example:

As a dedicated and responsible editor of the Lisgarwrite, I was setting up an email account for the newspaper (which, by the way, is lisgarwrite2011@gmail.com, not that I’m advertising anything). Everything was going well, until I got to that little box titled “Date of Birth”. Foolishly, I entered something along the lines of Jan 1, 2011; after all, I wasn’t going to use my own birth date in case of cyber stalkers, or whatever they’re called nowadays. Anyways, I promptly clicked the “Create Account” button, satisfied that all was right in the world. And that moment, of course, was when everything went horribly, horribly wrong. Instead of directing me to my brand-new email account, up popped a web page that said I was too young for an email account. Okay, so maybe 9 months is a little early to be getting hooked on the Internet, so I tapped the backspace button and re-entered a birth date in 2000. Still too young. Fine. Backspace, 1994. “Create Account”. Still too young. By now, I was beginning to question the sanity of Gmail. After all, I already had an email account with them, with my birth year listed as 1994. Deep breath. Backspace. 1889. That had to do the trick. “Create Account”. WHAT. According to Gmail, 122 years of age was still not enough to warrant an email account. Google should really show some more respect to elders, especially the ones who are older than the Internet.

So, by then, I realized that, in the words of my gaming-obsessed friends, I was being “trolled” by my computer. Thus, taking the logical next step, I fired off an email (from my already existing account, thankyouverymuch) to one of my technical support friends (just because I’m bad with computers doesn’t mean all of my friends are). Within two minutes, he fired back another email saying that he had created my account. I nearly fell out of my chair. Surely this problem couldn’t have been resolved so easily! I was half expecting a conspiracy involving Bill Gates, L’Oréal (Because I’m worth it), and the late Steve Jobs. When I decided to rant to my mother (who is, conveniently, a computer engineer) about this over dinner, she threw me a look of “Where on earth did you get your genes from” before replying: “You need to clear the cookies from your computer”.

Cookies? You mean those delicious edible snacks that crumble in your mouth and… okay, so I’m getting off topic here. She cut me short in the middle of my “NOMNOMNOM” sound effects and proceeded to explain to me what she actually meant. After a few minutes, my epiphany concerning the art of computer cookies was complete. Nevertheless, I was still a little disappointed. “You mean, I can’t eat them?” I could see the vein throbbing in her forehead, and quickly beat my retreat.

By now, I have already resigned myself to the fact that I will never be as technologically savvy as the majority of my friends are, will never be the first to understand (and jailbreak) the latest i-Gadget, and will probably still be destroying every electronic machine that I lay my hands on. But that’s okay, because experience varies directly with equipment ruined.

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