It sure is frightening how computers are taking over.
Wherever people turn - airline bookings, shopping, mail, information-gathering, Russian girls - they are subject to the whim of a machine. And it makes it worse when they are clueless:
Helpdesk: Double click on "my computer".
User: But I can't see your computer.
Helpdesk: No. Double click on "my computer" on your computer.
User: What's your computer doing on mine?
As someone once said: "Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it." I don't know who it was who said it but you could always look it up on the internet. Just double click on "my computer".
Not only that but computers tell lies. Consider: "Congratulations, you are the one millionth visitor", "You have successfully unsubscribed" or "I have read the terms and conditions". The answer is to do what I do and try to avoid the computer world completely.
Yes, computers may be taking over but they won't rule my life. No sirree! I sure don't have a touch screen interface but I've downloaded enough data into my own hard drive to last me until my next service. I'm loaded with more nybbles than you could poke a stick at. No, computers won't get a look in!
I may be low on RAM and be made up of more software than hardware but I'm in relatively good nick and, so far this winter, my system hasn't been down so I haven't had need to call for a debug. And my ROM hasn't failed me. I'm a human being and the computer world can't affect my world. I have a large enough bandwidth and it can take all the bps you care to send my way and in the mornings when I come out of my overnight hibernation, all I need is a strong coffee and someone to press my Ctrl, Alt, Del buttons and I'm away .
No, there's no risk of my becoming dependent on computer technology. To date, the hackers haven't had a go at me and, even if they did, my malware is up-to-date and, anyway, I could easily scare them off as I have some of the fiercest emoticons imaginable.
So, as you can see, I live a life completely uninfluenced by dot.com tomfoolery. As a stand-alone human, I can easily be refreshed, and once I am there's no stopping the gigaflops. There are times when She Who Must Be Obeyed, the webmaster, says I need to update myself and embrace modern technology but why should I when there is space on my disk and my operating system is functioning effectively. No, there's no dragging me into the techno-world. I'm a capable human and proud of doing things for myself, letting all this www stuff flow by me. And the biggie: to operate me you don't need a password. Here is a sanitised version of a password exchange a reader sent me:
Please enter your new password.
Sorry, the password must have at least 8 characters.
The password must contain 1 numerical character.
Your password cannot have blank spaces.
The password must contain at least one upper case character.
The password cannot use two upper case characters consecutively.
Look, if you don't givemeaccessnowThebiggie1
Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.
Sorry, that password is already in use.
So I hope I have convinced you that the modern world of digital technology hasn't a show of affecting me.
Press Ctrl Alt Delete now for an intelligence test.
Error message: Bad request, cluster funk error CX210xe. Thank you.
Sorry. Looks like I'll have to close down this column now. Just as soon as I shoo this fly away with the cursor.
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, public speaker and musician.