Cambrian: Opinion

Sometimes, you need help even when you’ve got it all figured out

“Do not ever believe anything that pops up on your computer screen saying anything about breeches or alert or beware … they’ll get you every time,” said my son, the tech guru, the first time I fell for this trick. I’m a bright woman, even a little tech savvy myself. Or so I thought.

Having been an Apple user for all my computer history, I have all Apple products, including the “smart” phone I grudgingly carry (all right, the camera and photo gallery are fun).

Lo and behold, a message popped up on my phone, saying there has been some suspicious activity with my certain account, change your password. that sounded suspicious, of course, so I looked somewhere else (did not follow a link!) to see what it was about. I went into my actual account and changed my password (three times, actually — that oughta confuse ’em) just to be safe, even if it was just a marketing scam, not a hacker.

Apparently. … I don’t even know what happened! I swear I did not click the link! Somehow, however, my two email accounts (two different sources) are now completely discombobulated! Can’t send, can’t retrieve, there are two listings in my preferences. If this sounds like Martian to you, it’s taken me years to figure out what little I know. And this is all because something on my phone connected to my desktop computer and now they are supposedly “synced.” I say they are “sunk!”

When I got a new laptop two years ago, I figured, “Isn’t the cloud supposed to make things talk and ‘sync’ and all that jazz? I’ll just upgrade my desktop to the newest operating system so it can pretend to be elite (new) enough to join that swanky Cloud place.”

Boom! Two major applications inoperable! Cha-ching!

“You need to buy new ones.”


“No, it’s not impossible, but it is so miserable to undo what you just did, you are just going to have to live with it,” the Mac store told me.

I’ll ask my son!



Okay, getting used to. Now this. Seriously? I can’t wait to subject myself to the embarrassment I will undoubtedly feel when he tells me to never ever, ever, ever do anything my computer tells me to do. Again. I thought groaning my stiff body out of bed in the morning made me feel old. It does not compare to your child, whom you suffered great physical pain to bring into this world, drove for countless miles to whatever and wherever and often gave your last dollar or crust of bread to gives the slightest hint of an eye roll to you for your feeble attempts at being “with it.”

I tried not to! Can I help it if I thought I knew what I was doing but, well, didn’t? I know I have been a “doer” in my life. Some (men, children) would say I’ve been controlling. I thought I was always just doing what needed to be done and I had/have “standards” I like to see upheld to make my world hum.

Then there are moments when I must step back and admit, maybe all those things I thought were important or that I-knew-what-I-was-doing were just marching to a virtual drummer in my own head all along.

I don’t know everything. Sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes someone else — including my children — knows more than I do and dang, humility is hard sometimes. Time to face the music and call my guru to restore order to my electronic life.

Then again, perhaps a nice walk in nature, on the beach, would feel better. The world can wait.

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at, or visit her website at