Monday, June 24, 2024

A Baby-Boomer Writer In a Techie’s World

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Are drivers getting more aggressive, operating their vehicles with an attitude more appropriate for a boxing ring? Is it just me? Here is Sugar Hill, they're still friendly—not quite so aggressive. If I have someone cut me off, I figure it's somebody's relative from Atlanta.

Behavior aside, I have to scratch my head wondering if some of them got their driver's license from a Cracker Jack box. Left turns from the right lane and vice versa? We won't even talk about road rage.

Both my husband and I are careful drivers, with no tickets and only one accident each in 60+ years of driving. However, if you watch YouTube videos of those crazy accidents, you'll see not everyone is honest. And if you're an older person, people assume it's your fault. Because we are gray-headed Baby Boomers, my husband decided we each needed a dash cam in case of an accident. 

He researched on Google and Amazon (the one computer activity he excels at other than online chess). He finds the one he wants, then has me take over his laptop to order it. No matter that I've shown him how to copy the url and email it to me. He can't seem or finds it too convenient to not remember. The same way he can't remember how to clear open internet tabs on his phone. 

New technology intimidates.

I tend to avoid new technology. I prefer to have someone show me how to use it. I know how to use my laptop and its software, but I'd call me an intermediate user, not expert. If something goes wrong, I'm in trouble. My husband? He's light years behind me. Finding things on his computer takes him forever and usually my help.

So when the dash cam arrived, he gave it to me saying, "Go through the instructions, so you'll know how to use it." I looked at the one-inch thick 3"x4" instruction book he set in my hand. 

Me? I may know my way around my computer and the internet, but this kind if technical stuff intimidates me. 

After I grabbed my trusty magnifying glass—what's with instructions being written in a point-2 font?—and removed the other four foreign languages, the thing was less than 1/4" thick. Okay, that was doable.

After he and our son installed it for me, I was good. It turns on automatically. If I'm in an accident, it immediately saves the video. What more did I need to know? 

I soon found out. 

Apparently, the suction cup doesn't like the heat. Or cold. Or damp. Or pollen. Half the time when I go to my car, its hanging by it's connection cord. I keep water and a tack cloth to wipe both the windshield and the suction cup before reattaching it. It's very frustrating. I've even had it fall while I'm driving. I almost drove on with it dangling, but I just knew that would be the time some crazy driver would target me. 

That's my biggest tech problem???

I expected to have real tech woes, like the time I reattached it and pressed something wrong, so the camera only faced the rear of my car. I'm in the car at the supermarket … without my magnifying glass to read the dang point-two font. That time, I had to get one of the young employees to read the book for me, plus push the tiny buttons on the cameras. 

I eased into the computer world, starting in my early forties. This dash cam came thirty five years later and dropped on me suddenly. There was no easing into it. 

I'm tempted to crazy-glue the suction cup to the windshield.


Ane Mulligan lives life from a director’s chair, both in theatre and at her desk creating novels. Entranced with story by age three, at five she saw PETER PAN onstage and was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. One day, her passions collided, and an award-winning, bestselling novelist emerged. She believes chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups and lives in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, The Write Conversation, and Blue Ridge Conference Blog.


  1. Sometimes low-tech is the answer. Tape it to the windshield. 😎 Seriously, I agree with you that driving has become hazardous. Having a dash cam is a great idea.

  2. I hate tiny print and suction cup attachments. We have a dash cam that we've never used. We were going to use it on our long southwest vacation. But hubby never got around to reading the instructions. He is the techie guy of the two of us so I'm not sure what his excuse was.