Publisher’s Corner: Left To My Own Devices

My young adult daughters love to make fun of me and my awkwardness when left to my own devices. I have always been behind the curve when it comes to electronics. I like to think of it as being old-fashioned and traditional, but apparently I am a techno-dinosaur. It all started with my first 35mm camera. It was a Pentax K1000 and it was wonderfully simple. No bells or whistles, no automatic anything. It was a lens and film. That’s all. Oh, it did have shutter speeds. But nothing digital or computerized. I had to think about the light, the exposure and the composition. There was no Photoshop back then. Any enhancement to a photo came in the darkroom with burning and dodging under the enlarger. The camera was a tool, the photographer was the artist. The cameras of today have become the artist and the photographer a technician. And in fact, people hardly use cameras anymore. They are snapping photos with phones. Everything went digital a long time ago and point and shoot, selfies, and party pix have become the norm. Used to be the photojournalist had to try to get to the scene in time to capture that one great photograph and “capture the moment.” These days they are scooped by everyone on the scene and their smart phones. It took me a while to get a smart phone. I lagged behind everyone in my family and got all their hand-me-down cell phones for a while. And then I realized, I am a grampa now and I need those pictures of my grandson. So they took me to the smart phone store and got me the most basic smart phone available. They were sure I was not “smart” enough for the more advanced device. And I pretty much proved them wrong. I have done quite well with my “introductory” phone. It takes photos and I can get my emails and I even use it for phone calls once in a while. I play Words With Friends and check my Facebook. I have to admit that Facebook is pretty neat. A great way to keep in touch with people without having to actually see or talk to them in person. Not sure if it has made me more antisocial or if I was antisocial before I got the smart phone. I know I am still way behind the curve when it comes to personal hand held devices. But it takes some time for me to make a change. I do get attached to my devices. I still use outdated computer programs (which our magazine’s printer keeps reminding me). But like so many things in life. It’s hard to give up on something you know and become comfortable with. Maybe it’s loyalty. Maybe it’s comfort. Or maybe it’s just the laziness to learn something new. I feel like I have already given in to the modern world of technology. The photo of me in this column is a selfie, and the cover art I did in Photoshop. So you might say I have come a long way. Or have I? Technology changes faster than a chameleon in a Crayola factory. I do know how to text, although I keep calling it email. And never while I drive. Gotta go, the dang thing is buzzing and dinging and I can’t get it out of my pants pocket…

Can you hear me now? J.B. Lester