Technology’s wonderful ... but it’s left me behind

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

This Christmas, I have ten young children to buy for! I know many of you will be in the same boat, especially if you’re a grandparent like me.

But I have to share with you some real concerns I have about seeing some disappointed faces this Christmas.

To be honest, I am actually against talking about Christmas at this point in November, so I apologise to those of you, who, like me, still think the best time for festive discussion and music is mid-December.

But in truth, this article isn’t about Christmas.

It’s about technology, and the fact that, for some reason, I have to buy lots of presents for lots of children with the one salary.

I’ve really put off buying for the young ones this year, and I’m still doing it.

The dread really set in during a visit to an unfamiliar library.

I went over to the desk with two books under my arm, and asked if I could check out some books.

The woman behind the desk looked at me as if I was some sort of dinosaur, and pointed me in the direction of a computer.

Ok, that’s not radical, but sitting the books down - one on top of the other - on a seemingly unassuming shelf and then finding out all the titles had been registered in a second and checked out, I thought was pretty amazing.

No barcodes, ISBN numbers scanned, nothing.

Must be some kind of magnet, I thought as I stood there a bit dumbstruck.

‘Are you finished?’ the computer flashed up. Translation - ‘beat it, old timer, you wouldn’t understand the kind of brilliance behind my workings’.

Fair enough, I thought, as I scuttled off.

So then, during a bit of a family gathering, I had a gab with some of the kids to guage what they fancied for Christmas.

“Any CDs or DVDS you fancy?” I asked, considering I could use my Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

“CDs and DVDs! What?”, they giggled. “Imagine getting a CD, Callum?” one said to the other.

A second mocking in 48 hours!

Let me admit something in no uncertain terms - if I take CDs and DVDs out of my possible Christmas presents list, I’m a little short on ideas.

And that’s no laughing matter.