Embracing Technology

Technology has grown in the past years of my life. I was a student in high school when computers first were developed. The computer was so very large, required a special room that had controlled temperature setting and data was inputted by means of a card with holes punched through in a select series of spaces. Today, our cellphones, an item we carry in our hand does most if not all the functions of a computer.

Last Saturday I had my first Zoom meeting with a person in South Africa. I used my cellphone as my computer does not have a camera. The experience was awesome. I had looked forward to this meeting for a week and was not disappointed in meeting and talking with this person. Only, our meeting was cut short due to technical issues, I think on my side of the meeting. I am searching as to why my phone would not let the meeting continue. I am also learning how to operate the functions of a Zoom meeting and more about such meetings.

This last year, I learned how and did a lot of shopping online. I have found I can get shoes and clothing of better quality than what is available to me in the area I live. The one big advantage in shopping for clothing online is finding my size. The local stores are always out of my size for clothing. Along with the size not be available the styles and color choices are limited. I have learned a shopper needs to read the print on the materials used to create the garment or item.

I have realized the generations younger than myself is all about technology and various ways of staying in touch with each other. A few months back, my grandson invited me to snapchat. I am still searching out snapchat and will probably join just to have the opportunity to communicate and share daily life with my grandson. I have had some young people at work invite me to Instagram.

I have seen on several websites of other sheep farmers they use Instagram in marketing their breeding stock for sale. I am probably going to join Instagram for the marketing of my sheep as well as communication with others. Considering the audience I am wanting to sell sheep to, I have to meet the buyer where they are looking.

In order to do well with my sheep farming and other adventures, I will need to learn to embrace technology and learn how to have a presence on the web. Starting and writing my blogs was a start, but there is so much more out there to discover.



Job Hunting

Since my husband was let go by his employer, we have been job hunting. There have been a lot of changes in how to look and apply for work in the past decade, and a lot more changes since we both first began looking for work in our youth. When I started working in the late 1970’s, I would walk into a business, meet a person, receive a paper application and fill in the information. There was contact with a person, and first impressions were made when you asked for the application. Wow, has looking for work changed!

Today, all applications are done via the internet. There is no going to a business, meeting a person and getting a paper application to fill out. If you walk into a business, you are told to go to the website or download an app to apply for work. The application is filled out using the computer and no human contact. Most businesses want a resume as well as the application.

Once the application and resume are submitted, once more a person does not see them, they are sorted by a computer program. The computer program sifts through the information provided, and determines if certain qualifications are met. If the program determines you possess the proper education, skills and work experience desired, then a person is notified of your application and resume. Finally a person to see what you have submitted. If the person thinks you are more qualified than another applicant, there may be a telephone call or email scheduling an interview.

I have been on a learning adventure. With the help of my daughter and a person at the workforce center, I have learned how to write a resume. Only you can not write just one resume. Each position you are applying has different requirements and key words the program is looking for to consider you a valid candidate for the job. So in order to be consider, a resume has to be written for each position being applied for.

Having a work history through several decades creates a long work history. But resumes are to be short. Most employers only want the last ten years. Then there are jobs you want to apply for, but it has been ten years since you worked in that field. Resumes are tricky to write. Short, simple and to the point is what is needed in a resume today. The work experience of previous jobs beyond ten years becomes skills.

Interviews, a few are in person, but most are teleconference calls with two or more people asking questions over a telephone. The applicant is still not answering a person face to face. How does a person tell if someone is not being truthful when you do not see a face. If the applicant presents themselves well through the teleconference call, then they will be asked for a in person interview. If you are not chosen for the position, you are informed via email.

Our world has changed. We shop online. If we do go to a store, we self check out. We learn classes or certifications online. We have doctor visits online. We apply for jobs online. So much of our lives is being done without contact with another human being. Our lives are becoming interactions with a sterile, unemotional, and often through a program connection to a machine. There is no warmth, no greeting, and no acknowledgement that you are truly alive.

I can not stop the way everything is going to technology without human interaction. I can not change the direction. I must work within the system. But I do not have to like it.


Technology Frustrations

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Computers are an invention that is to make our work easier and faster than the old fashion method of paper, pen and postal service. We can send a message in seconds instead of weeks.

The internet which requires a computer or smart phone to access allows us to share or gain information across the globe, instead of from our local community. News travels in seconds not months.

I use the computer and internet to write this blog. I research the internet for information regarding my sheep and other interests. I have meet wonderful people on the internet, including my awesome husband.

This week I have been putting the financial information together to file the required taxes in the United States. I worked as a bookkeeper, using pen and paper to records business money transactions for others. I learned to use the awkward and frustrating programs that first appeared with computers being used for record keeping. And I have used a computer program for my personal financial record keeping for the past thirteen years.

I procrastinate. I dislike record keeping, so I put off months of record keeping to do in one or two days. Which works out to recording all the transactions in three settings of two days of work at the computer, instead of doing it daily. At tax time is the final push for getting everything entered and starting on the current year. I run the reports and print off necessary information to file the tax return.

This year inputting the last of the receipts into the program, the computer “crashed”. Yes, years of work gone in the blink of an eye. Computer no longer works or runs correctly. The screen of various neon colors and flashes assorted images. It is an old computer. After working hard for me the past seven years, the computer has gone senile. It will rest in peace somewhere, on a shelf in the closet. As with the computer’s current state of “mind” I will be unable to wipe its memory and dispose of it properly. Yes, my faithful computer has become a dust collector for the top shelf in the closet.

Due to my paranoia of someone obtaining my financial information and using stealing what few finances I possess, I have always kept our financial record keeping on a computer that does not ever get to play with the internet. The one used for the internet searches and information sharing never gets to know my financial records keeping.

I did contemplate returning to my roots of paper and pen to record all my financial expenses and income and miscellaneous records. The thought of how much time and work is required in keeping track of expenses and income is with such a method. I would not have time to do what I enjoy doing. Yes, the computer does make it easier and faster than paper and pen.

A new era has dawned, I only have one computer now. I realized two years ago, my financial information is on the internet. With everything being paid by auto pay, bill pay and other means. The information is out there somewhere in the great expanse of the world wide web.

So, after an hour spent downloading the program, I am set to enter the entire year of financial receipts and deposits a second time.

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