Winning a tussle with technology takes time



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Each time we visit with our 20-something daughters and son-in-law, we learn something new about technology, but I know to expect glitches.

One of our recent frustrations was trying to connect Shannon's phone, and her Spotify playlist, to my husband's Bluetooth sound system in his truck.

The Bluetooth would not allow us to connect while moving, so we looked for a place to pull off the road. I was a little annoyed; five of us were packed in a truck, and I was ready to get home after a long day with lots of driving. Only 25 minutes and we would be home.

The crowd was not easily deterred, however.

After a few button pushes, an automated voice sounded promising with "Pair Audio Player."

Next, it asked for the name of my daughter's device. No one knew what that meant.

I would have given up, but my tech-savvy companions were determined. They guessed a name, and my husband responded with his answer to the faceless voice in the console.

The Bluetooth played back what he said -- but only half of it. Bob tried again, then again, and again, saying the name faster each time to avoid getting cut off before he was finished. By the time he succeeded, we were all laughing.

The next step seemed to endlessly loop us back to where we started. We tried to break free, calling out commands like "stop," "halt," "end" but our console had a hearing problem. Pardon? it asked each time.

Five, ten, 15 minutes passed. I turned up the AC. We could have been almost home, but no one was going to accept defeat. We circled around the cycle of questions multiple times, gave the device a new name -- still no music.

Frustration won out at last. Bob ordered our Bluetooth to "cancel."

Poof. He had uttered the magic words. We cheered as the music played.

Our triumph was short-lived. The next day, we lost the music again.

This time, our daughter and her phone were riding in a van in front of us. No phone, no music. At least, that's what we thought until we pulled up to a stoplight.

Suddenly, the music magically started playing. We started to roll and the music faded away. The next stop, and we picked up the signal again. All Bob had to do was tailgate the van to our destination to keep the music playing. Fortunately, he's a better driver than that.

When we arrived home, I told my daughter I enjoyed her taste in music. She offered to let me join her Spotify group's account that bypasses commercials on the music app.

Of course, there was a catch. I would have to open a Google Wallet account so I could pay her friend when they split up the yearly fee. Setting up an account was easy, my daughter assured me. All I had to do was connect my bank account to Google Wallet and tap the "agree" button when the message pops up to pay.

I politely declined. I had enough button pushing for one weekend.

Cindy Beamon is editor of the Albemarle Life section of The Daily Advance.