Don’t trust modern technology

As I mentioned in my last column, I don’t think Baby Boomers will ever feel comfortable with technology. It’s not that we can’t master it, but more that we don’t trust it.

When Microsoft Word asks if I “want to save the changes?” before I close a document, I often want to do exactly that, but how can I be sure that the people at Microsoft Word can be taken at their word and my changes will be saved? I want a big, solid commitment, not a puny micro-soft one.

I also don’t trust the dome light in my car. This past Saturday morning, just prior to daylight, I parked next to the location for my TV segment and jumped out of the car, then paused for several moments.

“What are you doing, Dick?” said a voice from behind me. “Why are you staring at your car?” It was my guest who was going to appear on the air with me that morning. “I’m waiting to be sure my dome light goes out,” I said.

At the time, it seemed like a reasonable response. But the more I thought about it, the more concerned I became about my behavior. I realized that I’ve lacked confidence in the dome light in all my cars. I feel a little ashamed, because I am sure that millions of dollars of research went into this technology. Why couldn’t they have spent all that cash on a way to stop stuff from falling between the seats?

What’s never really detailed in the manuals is how quickly the light will go out. How long should you wait before smashing the glass and pulling out the bulb. Is it a bulb?

Also, does the dome light stay on for a while even during the day, which means I could walk away not knowing if it’s gone off? If there’s one chance in a million that light is going to be on all afternoon, I’m not leaving the car.

I should be taking advantage of this technology for its time-saving and safety aspects instead of squandering my life waiting for my dome light to go out.

Here’s how I figured it: once a night (30 seconds) for 20 years, I’ve stared at my car’s interior. That’s 219,000 seconds, or 60 hours of my life wasted waiting for that darn light to go out. My goodness, that’s 40 naps I missed out on.

Related to this, I’d like to know how to politely inform folks when it appears they have exited their car without turning off their headlights. People used to say, “Oh, thanks. I sure didn’t want a dead battery.” Then they started saying, “Thanks, but this is one of those cool new cars where they go off automatically.”

Lately I get a lot of: “Relax, Grandpa, it’s okay. When’s the last time you bought a car?”

Well, it’s nearly sunset and I’m about to hit the sack for the night. I have to get up early, so I asked my iPhone to wake me at 5 a.m. and then I set my clock-radio for 5:05 as a back-up. But I’ll never fall asleep, anyway … wondering if that porch light is gonna go on.