03 December 2006


I'm no luddite. Really. I like technology, and appreciate its many contributions to my lifestyle. [This is possibly a result of having spent a significant portion of my childhood sans electricity and plumbing, but I can't be sure, since I know a lot of people who like technology who always possessed in-home running water and working light switches.] However, my love of technology is definitely unrequited. It is true. Technology hates me.

I now refuse to buy anything on the internet. Aside from the normal security concerns regarding the transmission of information such as credit card numbers and PINs, there is the simple fact that every one of the few internet transactions I've ever completed has gone wrong. Once upon a time, some years ago, I attempted to buy a textbook from Amazon. I put in my order, paid, and received e-mail confirmation that I would receive my product. Several weeks later, I received another e-mail, stating that my desired book was no longer available. So I didn't get the book, and Amazon never gave me my money back. They claimed they returned it via electronic transfer, but I never got it. Long story ensues, involving me getting married and setting up a new credit union account with my husband in the weeks between ordering the book and getting the notice that the book was no longer available. I spent so many hours communicating with their customer service and finance people, trying to clear up the situation and get either my money or the book that I had orginally been promised, that I finally realized that on a per-hour basis, it was no longer worth my time. It's only thirty-something dollars, I told myself. But now I absolutely will not buy from Amazon. DO YOU HEAR THAT, AMAZON?!? You lost a lifetime of my business due to thirty dollars and change for a book about Old Testament prophecy. For shame, Amazon! Dot com? More like DOT CON!

There is another tiresome story regarding a pen light that I ordered online as a gift for Jeff, a few years after the Amazon fiasco. I received a confirmation e-mail, as a matter of course. But the pen light never arrived. I called the customer service number in the e-mail, and while it was the right number for the right company, they claimed to have no record of my order. They never charged me for the light, though, so at least in this case, it was a wash. But that was the end of it. E-commerce is just not for me, because e-commerce hates me.

The above are just a few examples. There are many more. I am always having issues with my computer. And cel phone. And PDA. And various TVs and stereos. They respond magically to Jeff's commands, even if he just does exactly the same things I've tried to do previously. Jeff is mystified by the problem, and agrees that "Technology hates me" is probably the best and simplest explanation for the phenomenon. And that is why I am reluctant to embrace technology. It makes me sad, but I avoid it because I must. I mean, it's not like I NEED more frustration in my life.


mama mia said...

Maybe technology hating us is a genetic thing... like, all the women in our family or something. T and I also agreed that electronics are out to get me because I break every computer I use!

Willow said...

I agree that the gene has been carried by the female side of the family. Even the photocoy machines will break if I touch them. BTW, I have a new laptop computer! Thanks to Jeff for advice to Dad. And OF COURSE while I was being prompted by Dad to start the downloads, etc, the computer/internet would NOT WORK. This morning, it works just fine since Dad was the one touching the machine.