Senior Stories Technology

10 Signs You’re a Technology Dinosaur in a High-Tech World

Dinosaur Learning to Use Computer

Technology changes quicker than a New York minute. It’s hard enough for the younger generation to keep up with the changes, so you know it’s next to impossible for us geezers.

If you still use CDs and have yet to make a Netflix account, then you’re probably on your way to becoming a technology dinosaur. “From a distant era” might be a phrase used to describe a dinosaur, but you may be one; if these signs fit you to a T!

1. You have no clue what “hashtag” means or how to use it

To you, this symbol # is probably just a pound sign, not a hashtag. You see the word everywhere and ask a friend about it.

After the initial shock and disbelief of your naiveté, the pal explains that a hashtag is a type of label or tag used on social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s used to mark something belonging to a specific category.

Searching for that hashtag (a number sign or pound sign precedes it), will find each message pertaining to that theme. Because of the widespread use, the hashtag was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014.

If you have no online social media presence and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram aren’t in your vocabulary; this could be why you’re clueless. Hopefully, now you understand what it means and will be able to identify what it means when someone writes #TechDino on your photos.

2. You have no idea what an “emoji” is

If you were to look at a teenager’s text conversation, you would probably have no idea what they are saying. All you would see is a screen filled with tiny icons and acronyms.

Nowadays teenagers tell you emojis are the only way to communicate. Your blank stare reveals the truth, you have no idea what they are talking about.

They patiently explain that emojis are icons or pictographs, such as the smiley face or wink. It’s a way of showing emotion by using letters or symbols to express how you’re feeling in email and text messages.

According to Survey Monkey reports, Gen Z uses emojis 39% of the time they text. Not only that, although emojis might seem silly or cute to you, they are actually considered to be work appropriate.

In an article by Entrepreneur Emojis are the next generation, they’re not just smiley faces, they can be a music symbol, a ring, a flag, etc. Smiley faces, pictographs, really?

Can’t words just be enough? Apparently not anymore.

It seems that emojis serve as a way to better express our emotions and are very helpful to avoid misinterpretations. They are also an easier way to express our emotions.

3. You remember when computer memory was a whopping 64K and storage was a tape recorder or cartridge

In the days of computer infancy, circa the early 1980s, those features seemed pretty cool. Operating systems were MS-DOS based (yes, this was before Windows) and sometimes quirky.

Remember the Commodore 64, the 8-bit computer introduced in 1982, which became the most popular personal computer of the 1980s? Or my personal favorite, the rare and not supported for long, Timex-Sinclair 2068 color computer? There were cartridge slots for games and utility programs and many used tape recorders for storage.

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In those early years, disk drives were not affordable for home users. Still, program developers created over 10,000 software titles for the Commodore 64. Even with limited speed and memory, it was possible to play games, create a spreadsheet, and do word processing before Windows came along.

Perhaps this sounds “lame and “quaint” in today’s world of multi-featured 64-bit computers with tons of memory now commonplace. The 5 ¼ and 3 ½ floppy disk drives have been replaced by flash drives and cloud storage. (Whatever that is?)

4. You own either an electronic typewriter or a classic manual and still use it

Before the computer was introduced, the typewriter was the avenue for printed communication. There were Smith-Corona, Remington, Olivetti, Royal, and Swintec to name just a few.

Early manual models were large, clunky, and changing the ribbon spool was an adventure. Later electric/electronic models offered easier-to-install ribbon cartridges, 3 line text display, and internal memory for storing a few pages of text.

Sound familiar? There’s still an intangible, difficult-to-describe feeling when you get out the machine and address some envelopes or fill out an application form. One specific memory comes to mind, remember those smudges on your fingers from carbon paper?

5. Your televisions are analog and require a cable box or digital converter

Your neighbors and friends can’t resist commenting on your “retro” style TV sets. The bemused way they pronounce “retro” speaks volumes.

It’s obvious they’ve categorized you in the “blast from the past “ age group. It’s true the 19 and 24 inch small sets pale in size with today’s 40 and 55-inch models. And yes, the old sets are not digital, but with converter technology, you can still watch programs of all kinds.

Oh, you’ve heard of flat-screen TVs, HDTV, surround sound, and other fancy features. But why spend money on new, when what you have works fine?

6. You still watch movies with a VCR

And why not? Many old classics and made-for-TV movies are not available on DVD.

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