Digital Frustrations and Triumphs

My smart phone has been making me feel dumb again—which is especially bad because my laptop has been mocking me for a month, ever since I installed an update to my screen reader.  (Beware of JAWS 18, blind friends.)  JAWS has been acting like a sullen teenager, not speaking to me.  And if it deigns to speak, it takes it’s time as if it’s gathering its patience to deal with such a slug.  And then it seems to have decided to test me on every operation I’ve managed for years.  And JAWS seems to have traumatized the entire laptop, causing it to buzz uproariously or, now that I think about it, give me the raspberry periodically.  Truly, I’m just glad it’s winter and the windows aren’t open, or our neighbors with the impressionable, little girls would be scandalized by my language.

And then over the last two days my husband has informed me that the screen on my Smart phone is black.  I try to ignore his sighted arrogance, but can’t help a defensive, “Just my way of keeping you from snooping on my private messages!”

Inwardly I’m thinking, “Not something else to deal with.  How can anyone ever finish a book when all time is spent trouble-shooting her helpful technology?”

But something is niggling in the back of my mind.  I’d heard my guru techie mention some finger tap or gesture to turn off the screen, hadn’t I?  Among the thousands of single finger single taps or double taps, or double finger single or double taps or triple…A middle finger came to mind, and also the grand gesture of a fist to the screen.

In desperation I skimmed through my 47 pages of notes on using the damn thing, doing a word search for screen.  And aha.  A double finger single tap mutes the phone, but a triple finger triple tap turns the screen on or off.  I raced down the two flights of stairs from my office to catch my husband about to leave the house.

“Bob, Bob.”

I poised my three fingers and triple tapped, and voila  the screen came back on.  Yay!  Bob cheered; Dave, my dog, leaped.  I shoved my fist into the air, not the screen.  What triumph!  What joy!

What a sad state I’m in, feeling high from a technological problem solved.  Pretty pathetic.  Is this what my life has become?



About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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One Response to Digital Frustrations and Triumphs

  1. I can for sure relate to having digital frustrations and triumphs! Thanks for sharing – hope your laptop starts behaving again:)

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