Fantastic deals = overload

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“I must have temporarily lost my mind,” I grumbled as I opened the package with my new, glitzy red camera inside. No, I remembered, one of the TV shopping channels just mesmerized me one afternoon when I sat down in my recliner to rest for a few minutes. According to the man and woman demonstrating it, that neat, compact camera was simple to operate. All I’d have to do was just make a few taps on the face of it, then point and shoot. Wow, it was just what I needed for some great adventures. I placed my order. As the days flew by awaiting the camera’s arrival, I began wondering if that camera was all that easy to operate.

When I pulled the tiny instruction booklet out of the box, I knew I was in trouble. OK. I’d best get to it. So I went straight to my computer, pulled up the website and began downloading the directions. After about half a package of computer paper filled with directions and charts pumped out of my printer, I hastily put the two pages with illustrations of the front and back of the camera in the scanner. I wanted to enlarge them so I could more easily figure out what those buttons, etc. were for.

After a quick look at some of the directions, I decided to try it. Well, I got a picture all right—of my face squinting into the camera. Yes, I had it turned the wrong way when I tried to shoot the picture. Well, it proves that if you read the directions, things turn out a lot better. I obviously had not spent enough time studying and absorbing those directions. I’m still studying and familiarizing myself with that camera.

As if that experience didn’t teach me a lesson, a few days later I bought a new cell phone. Well, it was time. My contract had expired with my old one and I’d been considering it when along came a neat offer. Not only could I get the phone free with a two-year contract, but it came with a bonus e-card. Texting wasn’t covered with my current cell phone. With that new phone, I could learn how to send text messages to my granddaughter.

I pondered it a while and took the plunge. When the cell phone arrived, I wound up again racing to my computer to download directions and enlarge illustrations. This phone has a flip-out keyboard in addition to the numbers on the front. I finally learned how to put in phone numbers of family and friends. It’s was simple, once I learned the basics. Now I’m trying to learn how to use that flip-out keyboard and surprise my granddaughter with my first text message.

If I’ve learned anything from these two “fantastic deals,” it is not to yield to temptation twice within weeks of each other. At my age, I don’t want to find myself confronted with more technical overloads like this.