2016 Top 5 Posts, #4 – “You can’t stop the signal, Mal”

Coming in as the fourth most popular post written in 2016; a post about technology and the iPad – also known as “Shooting Myself in the Foot”

“You can’t stop the signal, Mal” 

serenity

“Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere” ~ Serenity

 

Well Mr.Universe, apparently the signal can indeed be stopped and unfortunately wherever the “somewhere”  where everything goes is; it is definitely far from here……

During almost the entire month of November on through early December my internet was down more than it was up. After weeks of “talking” to “The F word’s” Customer Service people, getting a new modem and visits from service techs, I threw in the towel and switched my internet/Wi-Fi provider.  Although this provider is so much better than “The F Word”, my internet goes down at least once per week – for days at a time or the signal is so bad that I do have internet but it is equal only to a very bad dial-up connection from the old days. “It’s true, there’s no beacon”*.

I have to believe that I must live on “the edge of the galaxy”, (in) “that place of nothing*”. In a void. In “the darkness. Kind of darkness you can’t even imagine. Blacker than the space it moves through”* ……. or I just have exceptionally bad luck with anything having to do with technology of any kind.

We had a snow day recently and I found myself thankful that when I upgraded DC and my IPhones a month or so ago, I purchased a tablet that can run on my AT&T data when there is no Wi-Fi. It was then that I had a “What were you thinking?” moment.

I bought DC an IPad for Christmas. Why? I do not know. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Well… I do, I guess. It is extremely difficult coming up with Christmas gifts that DC will like. Basically he wants DVD’s and Books (and of course the standard Band-Aids, scotch tape, pens, paper and mustaches), all of which he receives throughout the year. He does also receive them at Christmas time as well, but it is difficult finding DVD’s or Books that he does not already have. So I decided that he really would love an IPad. He does love it – maybe too much.

DC is 24. He grew up without the benefit of all of this technology, so keeping him occupied, especially when we were out, was a battle. When he was young he really loved watching Disney videos (VHS, for you youngsters), but there was nothing “portable” for him to take with him. Still, he developed and obsession with watching these Disney VHS tapes to the point where he did not want to do anything else in anticipation of watching these movies. I had to limit his movie watching to weekends only. If you think THAT went smoothly, you are very mistaken.

When they came out with those little portable DVD players, I bought one for DC… but he was only able to use it when we traveled or when there was a day off from school and he had to come to work with me. He never used it at home, so it did not occur to him to want to use it at home. When those bit the dust, I would let him watch his DVD’s on my lap top when he came to work with me. Somewhere along the way he discovered YouTube. I did not even know he knew how to use the internet – apparently they showed him how to do this at school and really, you only need to show him once.

So okay, he was now allowed to use the computer and/or watch his movies on the weekends. After he crashed my computer…. twice, I was happy when he won a laptop in a raffle, but still it was to be used only on the weekend, when we traveled, or when he came to work with me.

Moving on….

When he was in his transition program (18-21) before he left the school system, I decided that he really needed to have a cell phone. The phone is something that he does not grasp 100%, but I really needed to know he could call me or someone if he needed to.  I started out with a TracFone because I did not know if he would be able to keep track of this phone and not lose it. Once I saw that he was very good about knowing where it was at all times and carrying it with him, I upgraded him to an IPhone. It wasn’t long before he discovered he could get to YouTube and his Facebook page. That was fine with me. He only used it in the car. This was one of those rules he makes up in his own head – there are a lot of those – he would only use it in the car or on the bus.

He does have a Kindle that he really is not all that thrilled about. He would rather carry 20 lbs. of books in his backpack and of course, he can’t edit a book on Kindle. Then for some reason he got over his “only in the car” rule for his IPhone. He would use it at home, but only for about a half hour so that really wasn’t a big deal for me.

Then in my infinite wisdom, because he hates his Kindle and likes the IPhone, I decided to buy him this IPad. Well….. I have single-handedly created a new obsession. It was new, so at the beginning of course I let him use it more than I should have. In my mind (and really, my mind should have known better, but the “should have known better” part of my mind was overridden by the “wanting to give him something he really loves for Christmas” part of my mind) I really thought he would just replace the IPhone half hour with a half hour on the IPad.

Well, it did not work out that way. He loves it and I am glad that he does, but he wants to use it all of the time and when he freaked out about the internet going down and I found myself being grateful that I had the tablet that uses my data, I knew I had created a big problem.

I was able to manage all of these years without the benefit of the IPad and I am really disappointed in myself for creating this issue. We will be working on this and it will be limited, but I am really angry at myself for creating a situation that needs to be worked on.

On the other hand, I am angry because he loves it and I feel bad because I should know; I DO know that everything goes from zero to obsession and why do I always have to put limits on the things that he loves?

 

*Firefly ~ Bushwacked

 

 

 

 

 

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