To adapt to technology, I'll have to adopt some help

Apparently the phrases "early adapter" and "early adopter" (notice the 'o') do not mean the same and are not interchangeable.

An early adopter is a person who is quick to "adopt" a new technology or some other innovation. An early adapter might refer to someone who has taken this new technology and, using duct tape, a tube sock and a pen knife, "adapted" it for some other use.


However, it is usually the case that when you hear someone use the expression "early adapter," they are just using the wrong word.

Whatever word you are using, it does not apply to me.


Not only can I not use a digital tape recorder and simple household items to defuse a nuclear device, I don't know how to use a digital tape recorder. Ever the optimist, I keep buying new ones. Now I have four digital tape recorders that I don't know how to use.

I am generally the last person I know to latch on to any new technology.

You know the cell phone the size of a shoebox they hand back to Gordon Gekko as he exits prison in the movie "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"? It looked perfectly fine to me.

I was reluctant to convert to a BlackBerry because I had learned how to do the four things I needed my beat-up old cell phone to do, and I didn't really see the point in trying to get a new phone to do those things.

But I wanted to impress the young people in my circle, so I purchased one. This, despite my daughter's huffy declaration, "Mom, I don't have


to teach you BlackBerry!"

That is apparently the case in a great many households: The younger generation doesn't have time to teach the older one an essential life skill, despite the fact that we were there for them for potty-training, reading, and learning to drive.


I know this is true because my service provider, and I am sure yours, too, now provides BlackBerry lessons. Just call the store and set up an appointment with someone else's son or daughter, who is getting paid to help you.

As a result of this tutoring, I can now take pictures with my cell phone and e-mail them to you, or post them on Facebook and Twitter, accompanied by lively comment.

I certainly didn't "adopt" these technologies early, and it has been difficult to "adapt" to them. But my new media/news media job requires it of me and, I didn't want to be the old lady in the back of the room who keeps raising her hand and asking the same question over and over again and causing everyone else to roll their eyes.

Likewise, I didn't have a clue how to use TiVo or a DVR, even though these technologies have been on the shelf since something like 1997. And it took a natural disaster to bring me on board.

A power surge blew out my cable box and the nice lady on the other end of the phone checked her records and realized I hadn't had an upgrade since before everybody stopped using cables and started using dishes.

So, for as little as 14 cents a day, or something like that, I can now — you won't believe this, I know — record my favorite television shows and — I am not kidding you, here —


watch them when I want!

What a revelation! What a life-changer! Who is the genius who thought of


And — sit down, now — you can fast-forward through the commercials, you can pause the program and you can rewind in case you missed something!

I tell you, I have never seen the likes of this. Every day, at my fingertips, are new episodes of my favorite shows. "NCIS," "Burn Notice," "The Big C," "Poirot"! I will never have to sit through the network evening news, "Entertainment Tonight" or that show where you buy letters again!

I can not only watch my favorite shows when I want to watch them, I can watch them again the next day when I forget how they ended. How great is that?


This is a technology I think I can adapt to.