This does not compute to a break-up

“Don’t anthropomorphize computers — they hate it.” — Unknown

I remember the first time I saw a computer: It was 1982 and it took up an entire room at Wright State University. I had to “key in” my data onto cards, then wait in line to have them fed through the gigantic machine.

If I got even one keystroke wrong, I would have to start the whole process over. I remember thinking I’d be glad when I would never have to lay my eyes on another computer in my life.

Now I don’t know how I could get by without them. This doesn’t mean that they don’t annoy me on a daily basis.

It takes one second to join a mailing list. But to unsubscribe you get the message, “Well, this could take a while. You might still get communications from us for many months to come.” Or worse, they want a reason for why you don’t want to hear from them anymore.

You start feeling like you’re breaking up with someone who just won’t let go. You find yourself explaining, “Look, it’s not you, it’s me. You’re a really great website and I’m sure you’ll find someone else. We can still be friends. Don’t cry. You know I hate it when you cry.”

It’s pretty uncomfortable for all involved. Well, maybe not for the computer that won’t let you go. It doesn’t care.

And why is it when we enter our email address, they make us do it twice? Don’t they trust us? Is our collective typing that bad?

There are two kinds of spam. One is a canned meat byproduct that comes surrounded by gelatinous goo. The other is unwanted email. Neither is especially desirable, but the emails are worse.

SPAM the meat product doesn’t show up in your inbox trying to sell you products you would never need in this lifetime.

Plus, it tastes good on a cracker.

I really do appreciate the many wonders of my computer, even if it would be nice to get through the day without being heckled, sassed and harassed by a machine. I have no desire to go back to manual typewriters with carbon paper and white correcting fluid.

Typing one document took all day! Before that, we used a “duplicating machine.” No one knows why the ink was purple, but I still miss that smell.

I have no doubt that computers are smarter than me, but at some point, they became downright psychic. If I look at something online, I will be stalked with ads of that item until the end of time. Now, all I have to do is think of something and it shows up!

Sometimes, I yearn for a simpler time before computers. Oh sure, it was a hassle to get off the couch and walk to the library if you wanted to know anything.

I’ve thought about breaking up with my computer, but I know it just wouldn’t let me go.

Besides, how else am I going to find out why they used purple ink?

Columnist Kay Frances, MBA, holds a BS in Education and she is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

Salt Magazine