He says I don’t need my floppy anymore


I s it me, or is technology moving at the speed of light? It seems like just yesterday that I was riding around in my car with a new-fangled cassette player as I sang Foreigner at the top of my lungs. Then the next thing I know, I have kids who climb into the passenger seat and plug iPods into the dash with auxiliary cords.

Worse yet, they not only despise Foreigner but have the audacity to say that Fleetwood Mac is lame.

Can you stinking believe it?

Lately it’s an all-out war on music, and as a child of the ’80s, I refuse to listen to songs about pickup trucks and dirt roads regardless of whether or not iPods could “own” my cas- sette tapes. As they keep their fingers on the pulse of technology, the kids have all of the new-fangled gadgets and gizmos and leave “old folks” such as myself in their technological dust .

Take, for example, a recent car ride when I asked our eldest son, Vernon, to hand me the phone book. He blinked several times, appeared to be in a state of shock for aminute and then shook his head as if to get the sound of my request out of his ears.

“Hand you a what?” he asked andmade it painfully obvious that he was afraid to hear the answer. “The phone book,” I repeated as I wondered what the big deal was.

“Why,” he said slowly so as to take it all in, “would you

need a phone book?”

“Umm,” I said with sarcasm, “to look up a phone number.”

“Who are you trying to call?”

After I told him, he held his iPhone at arm’s length and said as he gazed out the window, “Siri, findme the number forWalmart.”

Then his phone says, and I’m not making this up, “I’ve found it, Master. Would you like me to make the call?” “Yes,” he responded as he handed his Walmart-dialing phone to me. Then he shook his head again, looked at his younger brothers and for the sake of entertainment, imitated me as he mocked, “Hand me the phonebook.”

Then the whole group of them shuddered as they pondered their mother and her outdated ways.

Yet, I firmly contend that I’m no technonoob. I can program a DVR, surf the Web with some success and have been known to connect my cellphone to the car’s Bluetooth system — and all by my onesy.

Although my ways may be old-fashioned and out of date, I tend to like things as they are. I would rather punch numbers than bark out orders to a hand-held device, have no problem turning on lights with a switch, and doggone it, I had my computer just how I liked it!

Therefore, as Vernon approached our PC on his most recent visit to our humble abode, I shook like an iPhone set on vibrate.

“What are you doing?” I asked with great trepidation.

“I think it’s time we bring this dinosaur up to snuff,” he replied as he rolled up his sleeves and adjusted the office chair to his liking.

“First of all,” he began as he went into a full-blown inquisition, “what are you using to access the Internet? Why is this your home page? Whoa, how many emails do you have? OK, this is no good. What’s this program for? Are you really using that program? If you don’t know what it is, then you’re probably not using it. Let’s get rid of this, clean up that. Oh c’mon, you didn’t download this. Tell me you didn’t. You did, didn’t you?”

Then he started teaching and instructing and I have to tell you that he lost me somewhere between “bugs in a beta version” and “auto-updates that Apple patched in.”

Things really became intrusive when Vernon told me that I no longer needed my floppy and was appalled that I still had a Fleetwood Mac CD in the disc drive.

Under the guise of being able to help me out fromhis campus home, he hooked me up to his computer via remote access and recently used this helpful tool to update Adobe Reader and then changed the status on my Facebook page.

He’s really messing with my world. In fact, if you notice any errors in this column, I’m here to say that Vernon is to blame.

At least my Foreigner cassette tapes are still safe.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at