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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Acquiring skills

Yesterday disaster struck – my laptop became so slow that it had to go to the computer doctor.  It is in need of major surgery so I have to make do with an old one.  Posts may be a little less frequent!

A few weeks ago I treated myself to my first Smartphone.  I actually loathe mobile phones.  I find them intrusive and have had several near accidents when people have been walking along concentrating on their phones and they have collided (or almost collided) with me on my trundle truck because they are so unaware of what is going on around them.  End of rant.

Anyway, I am having great difficulty learning to do the various things which my Smartphone can do so I did the obvious thing – I borrowed a teenager!  I sat watching her in total amazement as she whizzed through apps, texting, camera, and all the other bells and whistles.  I really do feel that I have missed out on a whole range of skills.  Were we so much less accomplished when I was younger?

Well, no we weren’t!  We simply had different skills.  When I took my first class brownie test I had to lay and light a fire, wrap a parcel using just brown paper and string (no sellotape), send a semaphore message, knit a pair of mittens, darn a sock.  And I was scarcely ten years old!  None of those skills is very relevant to me now (except knitting) and I’m quite glad that brownies today don’t have to do them. 

The real and lasting skill that I learned all those years ago was that acquiring expertise takes time and is worthwhile.  I just need to convince myself that mastering a smartphone is a skill is also worth my time!


  1. I remember making 'dampers' over a wood fire as a Girl Guide! I have never made them since, needless to say.

  2. Dampers were truly vile - but toasted marshmallows - there's a much better memory!

  3. I have great memories of toasting marshmallows. I would have no idea at all how to use a smartphone.

  4. I also made dampers but we secreted a tin of golden syrup with us and that made them edible. I was given an all singing, all dancing phone and after 3 weeks I gave it back. Now that I am retired, and should have all the time in the world to learn how to use one, I am far too busy. I will wait till winter comes and see how I feel then.

  5. You beat me to it. I don't have a cell phone, loathe the things in fact. On the rare occasion that I ask to use someone's phone, generally if it's a smartphone I ask them to dial for me. Those contraptions are intimidating. I'd rather master all those things in your Brownies list than to master a smart phone.