My Relationship Status With Technology: It’s Complicated

If technology and I were in a relationship – which would be rather strange but it’s 2023 so I guess it wouldn’t be too strange – our status would 100% be “it’s complicated”. Now, if you’re unfamiliar, Facebook has a relationship status that you can literally put it’s complicated. Who in their right mind would choose that as an option? If I had a guess, I think the engineer who thought “it’s complicated” was a fantastic little detail needs just a smidge of counseling. Imagine your significant other is going about their day, hops on Facebook to waste some time, opens up your profile to look at the cutest couple photos, and discovers that you’ve decided to share with the world that your relationship is “complicated”. Oh my lord, I don’t know about you but I think I’d have an absolute meltdown! 

With all that said, I can confirm that technology and I are in “it’s complicated” territory. I hope they don’t read this…

The Tech Guy

There was once a time when this wasn’t the case. A time when technology and I were thriving. When I was younger, I couldn’t get enough of the tech goodies in my life. With each new piece of software, new graphics card or processor hitting the market, and new game console or phone, I was absolutely obsessed. I wanted to get my hands on everything I could and tinker with it. 

This mild obsession led me to build my own computer. Back in the day, you weren’t a true PC gamer unless you built your own rig, almost like a rite of passage. So, I bought a cheap Desktop at BestBuy, gutted everything except the motherboard and processor, put in a custom graphics card, increased the amount of RAM, bought a second Hard Drive, and a larger power supply.  

Speaking of motherboards, I may have fried one while swapping out the old one in my second computer. 

A side note quickly, my second rig was completely custom. I scoured the internet for the best deals and researched in depth every piece of hardware at the time. Being a baller on a budget, I needed to find the best bang for my buck, ya know? I have to say, that rig was my favorite computer to this date. The case was a sleek black and red and very travel friendly with the mounted handles that came with the case. Boy did that rig travel. I took it everywhere with me like it was my childhood blanky. Every weekend I’d go over to a buddy’s house and we’d game for days on end without sleeping. If I could have a dollar for every can of Mt. Dew Game Fuel or Pepsi I drank back then, I would’ve retired comfortably at the old age of 17. Call me a nerd, but those were the glory days right there, I tell you what.

Anyway, back to me frying my new motherboard like an egg. 

Unbeknownst to me at the time, static electricity runs rampant through carpet. Why is this clearly obvious fact relevant? Well, this guy with two thumbs decided to install computer parts while my poor computer rested on the carpet. Turns out, electronics hate static. Who would’ve thought? As I was reaching into my case to place the motherboard, I heard a pop and witnessed quite the illuminating spark shoot out from the middle of the board. Shortly after, a plume of smoke comes from somewhere looking something similar to campfire smoke signals. If I had to interpret, the smoke signals probably said, “Don’t change computer parts on the carpet, Dumbass.” 

Oopsie daisy. 

My obsession with technology was with me for years. I mean, I was the tech guy of the family. If there was a problem with someone’s computer, phone, or internet, I could probably fix it. Hell, I even tried getting a degree in the technology field. That was a disaster

Now, I can’t quite recall exactly when, but sometime in my early 20s maybe, technology started to become more and more of a burden. 

Especially printers. I can’t believe I’m about to open up this can of worms, but you better buckle up for this one. 


Whoever invented home printers, I want to give them a swift karate chop right to the jugular. In a nice way, of course. 

See, printers and I have some beef. And I mean a lot of beef. Like, water buffalo equivalent. Printers to me are the absolute bane of my existence. The archaic software that runs these fragile ink-filled plastic nightmare machines just makes my blood boil. Half the time the software never loads, and the other half it can never find the damn printer that is directly connected to the computer. Here’s a bonus half for ya. The speed at which this software runs is that of a slug. I mean, come on HP. Yes, I’m pointing fingers here. HP is a 32 billion dollar company that still runs their printers off software from the 90s, I swear to God. 

Software aside, let’s talk about the wireless or lack thereof on these paper spitters. Raise your hand if you’ve tried to set up a printer with wireless capabilities and, ohp, it can’t connect to your wireless. Ah, everyone in the room? Not surprising. How on Earth can a printer not find a wireless signal when the router is no more than 6ft away, but my neighbor can steal my internet 2 houses down? Seems a little suspect to me. 

You’re probably wondering, “Wow, Tyler. Where is this hatred coming from?” Well, I am just so glad you asked. See, this deep seeded hatred of mine stems from attempting to fix my Grandparent’s printers. Note the word attempting, and printers, plural here. 

They have had so many problems with their printers I would sound like an absolute comedian if I listed them all. None of their issues have been their fault, I should preface that. The printers that they bought just have all shit the bed in some way or another. It’s unbelievable. 

I can recall like it was yesterday when I went to their house and attempted to fix their printer. I shoveled a cookie into my mouth and went to work unlocking the Davinci Code of printers to get the thing connected again. Immediately I went to install a fresh driver. This usually fixes a printer issue, no problemo. No dice. I then tried to remove the printer completely and did a fresh install. HP’s software popped open, and my brain felt like it hit the deepest Wisconsin pothole. My eyes were blinded by “Not responding” prompts immediately. Great, the company that made this printer is shitting the bed just like their printer. How am I not surprised?

I swear I spent close to 3 hours trying to troubleshoot that heart attack inducer. I’ll be honest and say I achieved no results. Not one inch of progress. I had to eat my next cookie with a layer of shame on top. 

Thank the heavens for Kacey though. She’s been the ying to my yang. How she can keep her cool with printers and fix them no sweat is beyond me. My grandparent’s ask her for help now if they have any printer problems. You know what, I am so not offended by that. 

Now this entire rant about printers is merely one tiny pocket of technology. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel that way about technology entirely. Slow internet, unresponsive programs, games crashing to the desktop, phones not having service, TV’s freezing, batteries dying too quickly, touch screens missing their touch function, and tiny screws holding all these pieces of technology together equal just a tiny list of the supposed technological advancements that eat away at my soul. 

I just don’t have any patience for any of it anymore, and I can’t quite put a finger on why.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Having the patience of a toddler in the technology world has been kind of a blessing. Being that I get so fired up, it’s been a lot easier for me to take a step back from tech and go and touch grass, observe our vegetable children in the backyard, or write in my journal. Yes, actual handwriting. I know, it seems like an art from the stone age, but it feels totally unique when you find a pen you like and start writing away. 

Unplugging occasionally has been a breath of fresh air, to be honest. I recommend everyone step away from their phone for a couple of hours and just sit outside. Soak up the sun with a glass of iced tea, or gin and tonic if you’re feeling like being one with the pine trees like myself. Just listen to the birds and enjoy the peace and quiet. I know I sound like the definition of a 90-year-old right now, but I swear you’ll feel like a million bucks afterward. 

Get an Above Average email
in your inbox every Friday






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *