Technologically Challenged


It’s no secret that I lack certain prowess with all things computer related. Like my seven year old, recently said, mama is not really “techknowledgeable.” (Don’t you just love that coinage? I should really file for the patent on that one quick)

It seems to me that just when I have things almost figured out, a new “update” comes along  – which in my dictionary translates as “Let’s confuse the heck out of the lady.” Like, really, there must be a conference out in cyber space, where bits and bytes play the “Stump Susan” game. Again and again.

Usually, when my phone or laptop begs for an “Update to software version Greek and Latin 2.0,” I automatically revert to mom mode – you know, when the response is usually, “Not now” or “Ask me later.” I postpone the inevitable to a more convenient time. Like when the husband can do it for me.

Great strategy, methinks.

Except, whatdyaknow, turns out when you get a job outside the home the hubbers can’t tag along with you. (Whaa? Ridiculous, right?)  Yup, got a job as a grant writer a few months ago and, lo and behold, grant writing’s not just writing. It involves excel sheets (I know for a fact that hell is plastered with those), power points, software to track hours spent at work, software for notes, and “platforms” (why is everything a platform these days?) to give your colleagues a verbal high-five.

My spiral bound notebook looked woefully neglected as I grappled with all the new stuff that bounded my way.

The good thing, though, is in an office of 20-somethings, I cheerfully occupy “Almost Auntie” status. Which means, I can ask a lot of stupid questions without embarrassment.

(It’s marvelously liberating to be too old to care how dumb you sound. You should try it sometime)

But, the thing is technology seems to have a personal vendetta against me.

Here’s some proof:


Don’t get me started. You might remember that the husband geeks out on all things tech and has a job that has something to do with web security (He’s told me what he does several times, but usually my mind wanders to blueberry muffins or something in that genre.). He crafted our passwords to be more convoluted than trigonometry. In Yiddish. Yeah, Yiddish Trigonometry. They are air-tight, water-tight, tighter than jeans-after-a-buffet tight. You feel my pain, don’t you?


Here’s a simple question: Why in this already-complicated world do we have so many remotes? Why? Last month the hubbers was out of the country. I didn’t watch television for 2 weeks. I didn’t know which remote to start with. With the HDMIs 1, 2, 3 and set-top boxes and cable TV and Apple TV and Netflix, you practically need an advanced degree to watch a show. There was never a time that I longed more for Doordharshan with its two channels. And ONE REMOTE!!!


Hit print and a beautiful document emerges from said machine? In my dreams. Error messages about inks, toners, paper feeds, connectivity and low resolution pop up more frequently than pre-pubescent acne.


I’ll start using that when my jeans from 10th grade fit me again.


It’s always full. Particularly so, when my usually camera-shy son gives me permission to take a video of him singing or dancing or doing something perfectly marvelous that should be recorded for posterity (and played back at his wedding). It’s precisely at that glorious moment when the storage declares itself full and mama feverishly tries to delete old pics. Of course, the moment passes. And I’ve accidentally deleted old videos of previous marvelous moments.


There’s an app for everything. With the exception of things that I really need. Like a laundry app. Now, that would be useful. So, take notes, Mr Steve Jobs’-Partner-that-no- one- will-make-a-movie-about. Take notes. In a beautiful spiral-bound notebook that holds crisp sheets of freshly minted paper.

It’ll give you a chance to practice your penmanship. And, they require no passwords. I promise.


  1. Regina Gadad says:

    You’re so funny! I’m in the same age boat as you and relate to this. In fact I started reading more books because I just got frustrated at how to turn on the TV (and just when I think I’ve got the hang of it my hubby “updates” it to the other latest technology). Keep blogging Susan! I look forward to your posts.

  2. Sam Rufus Nallaraj says:

    You are supremely funny! Exactly the kind of person my dear dear friend Ranji (as I call him) needs for life – someone to get him laugh unstoppably (like a horse neighing when it’s delivering :-)). Always love reading your blogs. They are so close to real life (in a funnily exaggerated way – I bet you were into dramatics/Adzaps/MadAds in School/Church). Keep them coming!
    Love to you all and to my dear friend Ranji.
    – Rufi

    • Susan Narjala says:

      Thanks Rufus! Sadly, Ranji has stopped neighing. You should come visit us with your family and help cure him. 🙂

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