When you’re married to technology, literally
What’s the first thing you do on waking up? There’s a high probability that you reach out for the phone. You rub your eyes and begun to scroll — news feed on Twitter, check-ins on Facebook, and stories on Instagram. If you’re a morning person, you even reply to a few messages and e-mails, whilst still in bed. Your day has begun. On the right note, the technology note. Our home and mornings are no different. The husband and I share our space with technology.
The only difference is that I’m married to technology. I mean in the literal sense.
In our home, we don’t resort to Alt + Ctrl + Del or hit Restart kind-of lame, short-cut solutions to problems. It’s plain derogatory. We dig deeper until we’re convinced that the problem will NEVER re-surface. Terms like glitches, revolutionary, viruses, updates, and advanced are taken very seriously by the husband. He is not dependent on technology, just plain obsessed. To be fair, were it not for him, I would have never been able to call myself a digital native.
Perhaps, the first Google phone in Dubai was the one in his hands. Our tech expert (reporter at Khaleej Times) at was surprised that the husband already had one. Ask him about his favourite show and he’d probably say, ‘Live telecast of the Mobile World Congress’. Quiz him on digital quirks and not only will he leave you surprised, but also you will become his #bestie. Google Home greets us a good morning, followed by weather updates, news headlines, and traffic situations on the road to work. Often, when we get dinner invites from the neighbours (the ones we meet only in the elevator) and acquaintances (whose last names we don’t know) my intuition rightfully suggests there’s something at their home that needs to be fixed. Last month, we had a lovely home-cooked meal at a ‘friend’s’ home over a debate on internet cables that worked only in the living room. By the time, we were served dessert (fruit cream with fresh kiwi and strawberries), every little corner in the home was Wi-Fi-enabled. Now, we have to wait for a glitch in the connectivity to enjoy a second serving of the dessert. A few weeks ago, my sister was struggling with the ‘No sound on YouTube’ problem on her telly. She didn’t feel the need to spend time trying to fix it, “Let’ me just mention it to him (husband). He’ll take it personally, and fix it.” As expected, it was fixed. On another occasion, I remember it was the printer at their place, which needed a little grooming.
As for me, I have tech-support available 24 X 7. The scan virus software on my laptop runs and gets renewed on its own, miraculously! How?! The data in there is backed-up, regularly — Oh, please, we don’t wait for reminders. When my Windows-compatible hard drive refused to befriend the Mac at work, I knew there was nothing to worry about. Also, if ever there is an issue with the kitchen blender or microwave — it’s attended to, instantly. He is not gender-biased when it comes to tech support. Just yesterday, there was some blockage ‘issue’ with the washing machine. By the time, I reached home, it (the machine) was doing its job. I didn’t bother to find out more about the ‘issue’ — there was no need. By the way, that’s what happy marriages look like. No questions asked. Do we argue over tech? No, we turned off that setting, a couple of years ago.
Over time, I’ve embraced the bytes and bloopers. Have I become smarter? No. I just keep shifting from one guilty pleasure to another. The latest is to ask Google Home to switch on the telly for me. “Hey Google, play The Good Wife on Netflix.” She is so obedient. Last week, I asked her to play classic songs and she kept playing the wrong playlist from Spotify. I told her, ‘Hey Google, you are being silly.” Her response was — ‘I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will try to do better, next time’ I know that was a little rude of me, but then I can’t help it. I am so spoilt. I am used to technology at my command, always.
This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.