How a luddite tames techno hurdles in 4 not-so-easy steps

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful confession.

I am a luddite!

According to the Urban Dictionary a luddite is someone who is adverse to adapting to technology. It’s not that I oppose technology. It’s just that I’m inept at it. I am seemingly incapable of mastering something that should be easier than it is. I get flummoxed at what looks to be the simplest of tasks.

It’s not because I lack will power. Nor is it because I’m not putting in the time. It’s that I just don’t get it. My brain simply doesn’t think that way.

Let me give you some examples. For my digital communications class we’ve been asked to put together  a brief 2-minute video that we will shoot, edit and present in class later this month.

This is a group project. Ever the keeners, my group met earlier this week to discuss our theme, prepare our rationale and divvy up responsibilities. Eager to see what video production looked like, three of us thought we’d give it a whirl.

I grabbed my phone and began to interview one of my classmates about her eyelashes. An odd subject you’re probably thinking but not so odd when we had just been discussing fashion blogs. Regardless of the topic, I quickly realized I couldn’t interview her and shoot footage at the same time. Another classmate offered to videotape us while we chatted.

Success! Within just a few minutes we had some great footage to work with – albeit some in landscape format and the rest in portrait. No matter – I promised my team that I’d send them the full video the next day and we could all practice our editing skills.

Hurdle #1

The video was too big to email. I would have to send via the cloud. I’m familiar with DropBox but had never used it. After a few tries, I eventually managed to load DropBox on my computer and send the video. When I say a few tries, I mean a few hours. The challenge was that two things happened in the process – one, the DropBox account was opened in my daughter’s name and not mine, and two, I lost my email connectivity.

You see, our desktop at home is set up for four users. For some reason, I wasn’t able to override my daughter’s registration and replace it with mine, the primary user of our desktop. In the end, the video file got sent with her name.

The loss of email connectivity is another mystery. I think it’s because my phone is linked to a gmail account yet my main email address is a Hotmail account in Outlook. I had to register DropBox with gmail so it temporarily disabled my main email. Or at least I think that was the problem. I wasn’t able to send or receive for about an hour and a half. Perhaps it was something else. That’s just the thing. I don’t know what it was. And I hate that. I hate not understanding why. If I understand the why, I can accept the delay. I may not like it but I get it. It’s the not knowing that makes me crazy.

The Solution:

I walked the dog. After distancing myself from my frustration, I shut down and restarted my computer three times before it somehow magically righted itself. Then I sent the DropBox file under my daughter’s name and followed up with a separate email to my classmates telling them about the name change. I still don’t know why it wasn’t working but as Rafiki says, “It’s in the past.” Or to quote a more current Disney character, I simply had to “Let it Go.”

GIF Source: Giphy

Hurdle #2

Finding a video editing tool I can use.

I have an Android phone. Using a widely accepted editing app like iMovie wasn’t going to work for me. I called Samsung to see which app they recommended for use with my phone. They suggested I go to Google Play and choose one that had the most stars. I find one that looks good but quickly realize the app gets loaded to my phone and not my desktop. I want to edit from my computer and not my phone. I can’t figure out how to download the app to my desktop. I go back to Google Play and download some other apps. The same thing. I just don’t get it.

The Solution:

Ask my good friend Google how to do video editing from a  desktop. Ever faithful, Google points me to something that will work with Windows 10 called Windows Movie Maker. I find a free app that downloads to my desktop and not my phone.

Hurdle #3

Figuring out how to edit my video using Windows Movie Maker.

The Solution:

Google to the rescue again! I watch three separate videos on YouTube and now feel confident to try out my editing chops.

Hurdle #4

I spend the next few hours playing with the program. I cut out extraneous content. I insert titles, captions and credits. I even learn to rotate the portrait and landscape shots so they can be viewed the same way. When I try to narrate over some of the footage I quickly discover my microphones don’t work.

After a few more attempts I finally remember the wise words of Rafiki and Queen Elsa and once again just try to, “Let it go.”  Recognizing I’m spending way too much time on something that was just meant to be practice, I decide to forego adding music.

Now the real hurdle – when I try to Save my Movie, I get a message that says that function is not supported because apparently I have downloaded a Trial Version. The only way to save my movie requires me upgrading to another version of Movie Maker and spending $50.

The Solution:

I call Microsoft support to see why a supposedly free download won’t let me save only to discover that the Movie Maker app from the Microsoft Store would normally cost $1.99.  Apparently I have downloaded a “Free” version from another retailer. After being transferred from telephone agent to telephone agent to see if I can get the right app and not lose all my work, I finally realize it’s time to fish or cut bait as the saying goes. I either walk away now and let it go or I cave.

Guess what? I caved. Or rather, my husband took pity on me. He spent the $50 to upgrade to the premium version of the app.

It was 10 pm on a Friday night. And after a long day facing hurdle after hurdle, confusion and frustration, I was feeling like the little girl below. Sadly, this gif is a fairly accurate representation of some of my behaviour too.

frustration giphy.gif
GIF Source: Giphy

So what have I learned from all of this?

Keep at it. Eventually it will sink in. Ask for help if you need it. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. And finally, BREATHE – if all else fails, just let it go.

To sum up, and to paraphrase two 19th century poets – ours is not to reason why, ours is to DO or die (in the process) –Alfred Lord Tennyson.

And taking liberal license with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s nursery rhyme about a little girl with a curl right in the middle of her forehead:

When technology works it is very very good and when it doesn’t it is horrid!

For those of you who want to see the finished product, here’s the video on false eyelashes that finally came to fruition through a little blood, sweat, tears and a $50 upgrade.

5 thoughts on “How a luddite tames techno hurdles in 4 not-so-easy steps

  1. I can so relate to your tale of woes. Love this tale of letting go and leaning in at the same time. I am your equal as a Luddite… woulld love to view the finished masterpiece … are you available for consulting at a rate less than $50?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So now I know what you’re doing with your time! Such activities really do take time!

    I have had similar experiences. At least you didn’t cave to buy a Mac so you could use i-Movie!

    Do you realize that girl having a tantrum could have been your second eldest niece? Fortunately, when she looked exactly like that she was a very sweet-natured child.

    Practice makes perfect so they say; or consider the thought of a friend of mine who at times of extreme frustration says, “I think technology is the anti-Christ”!

    Well done, Lou!


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