WILSON: Relationships between people, computers always complicated

Posted: Jan. 10, 2013 8:34 pm Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 9:15 pm


My computer doesn't understand me, but I'm still committed to saving this relationship.

Apparently I haven't been attentive enough, and so I'll accept some, maybe a majority, of the blame for our deteriorating partnership. It wouldn't do me any good to deny my own mistakes: The Apple of my eye remembers everything.

Not long ago I had to sort through well over 100,000 emails. For some reason, all the messages I received since November 2011 came flooding back. My own fallible memory couldn't identify any traumatic events from that time period. That didn't matter. If it was a problem for my computer, it was a problem for me.

Apparently, communication is at the root of our problems.

It wasn't always this way. Back when we first met, I was certain this was the perfect pairing. I loved my computer's brainpower, and all previous helpmates paled by comparison. All I had to do was ask a question, and the answer was provided at blinding speed.

We took lots of journeys on the Web, chatted frequently and kept up on current events.

Looking back, it's hard to tell when things went wrong. We just seemed to drift apart.

I'll admit to spending too many nights glued to the TV. After a long day at work, it was easy to opt for escapism and not have to think.

Eventually, our face-to-face sessions didn't last as long. Online excursions became a bit more routine. It's a story as old as electronics.

There were times I was pushing all the wrong buttons. Answers to my questions came slower or seemed to get lost in translation somewhere. It wasn't what I asked or said, it was "how I said it."

It's not like we've stopped talking or anything. We still spend lots of time together. The spark isn't really gone, but it has dimmed in intensity.

I've tried contacting those IT counselors. They try to help. It's just hard to fix any big problems over the phone. In-person sessions would be better -- if they weren't so expensive.

I haven't been looking at other computers. It's not because I'm a one-computer kind of guy, I just don't know whether I want to invest that much of myself again. It takes so much time to get to know each other and get past all the little quirks and learn all the preferences. It can also be costly finding just the right one.

Some of the smartphones have come on to me at times. Oh, they look great, but I value brainpower over appearance. Also, I can't get past the age difference and I don't want to play any games.

Just give me a mature interface that is intuitive enough to know what I need. Is that too much to ask for?




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