This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There comes a moment in everyone's life when realization sets in that we have lived beyond our time. At some point, technology took a leap forward and left us muttering in a cave.

More than a century ago it was automobiles. It took a while for them to catch on. Most people thought cars were just a fad. Horse owners hated them.

But technology won't be denied. Eventually, automobiles caught on. Anyone who still drove a wagon was considered hopelessly dim and pushed aside.

For my grandmother, that moment was television. She didn't have one. Visiting her was like traveling back to a time when staring at fires was high entertainment. You changed the channel by throwing on another log.

Being a television addict already, I couldn't fathom a life without a cartoon morphine. I asked Nanna why she didn't have a TV. The answer stunned me.

Nanna said messing with all those dials, antennae and plugs simply wasn't worth the effort. Besides, she had watched TV at a neighbor's house once and everyone on the TV was a "smart ass."

Note: This was my Sanpete County nanna. Not the more sophisticated one in Idaho.

With Nanna's mom it had been the telephone. When a contraption came along that enabled people to talk in real time to each other over a wire, she couldn't be bothered. That's what the telegraph was for.

My father slid off the tech highway in 1971. He saw me installing an 8-track stereo in my car and wanted to know what kind of fool tinkered with equalizers and woofers and unraveled tape when there was a perfectly good AM radio already in there?

I vowed this would never happen to me. I kept pace with technology. I wrote my first book on a typewriter, but when computers came along I jumped right into word processing.

I also made the transition from landline to cellphone without a hitch. Suddenly, I could take my phone anywhere. What could be more convenient? Wasn't technology wonderful?

Things started to slip about five years ago. That's when technology and I started traveling in opposite directions at increasing velocities. Devices got so complicated that I stopped bothering with them.

Today, I can't text, tweet, frap, moog, ditz or whatever with my phone. It doesn't do anything but make phone calls. That's all I want it to do.

But then my Facebook account started acting up. The settings kept changing on their own. It had a demon.

I solicited help from the newspaper's IT people. This is our entire conversation.

IT guy: "I'll text the fix."

Me: "Sorry, I don't text."

Me again: "Hello?" [Echo].

I did the only thing a troglodyte could — I stood at the mouth of the cave and screamed for help. I sent out an SOS on Facebook.

A number of nice people wrote back and offered advice ranging from a few keystrokes to pouring the blood of a goat over my keyboard.

I tried them all. One of them actually worked.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or