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Automatic features prove to be helpful as well as frustrating PDF Print E-mail

Technology steps up to accommodate our changing world as we need more and more reminders. I tend to overextend myself and often times have too many things processing in my head at once to remember everything that needs done.
I maintain an electronic calendar with reminders popping up automatically of what needs done daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, annually. Birthday reminders reoccur every year so I don’t have to take the time to physically mark a calendar. I can even request a reminder a couple days before the birthday to give me a heads up.
I’ve set up many of our regular bills to automatically get paid every month on a given date. I don’t have to think about making the house, phone, gas, city, insurance or credit card payments on time as a draft is punctually drawn on my bank account. No late payments. No writing checks.
Of course it is imperative that there are sufficient funds in my account in order for that to happen and keeping records of those payments is still important. Good computer backups are essential. My brain function would be seriously challenged if suddenly all that automatic information was no longer available.
Our company payroll is now processed automatically. Isn’t it amazing that you enter data and when the magical time arrives, funds transfer to up to 33 different bank accounts in multiple banks and credit unions in an instant? And at that same instant millions of other transactions are processing.
Manufacturers attempt to help all of us by automatically shutting off the iron, the curling iron and the computer if they sit idle for a given amount of time. Street lights, headlights and porch lights have sensors to turn on and off when the time is right. We set our Christmas lights to automatically turn on and off.
I’m not a coffee fanatic but the coffee pot starts brewing in many homes before anyone even gets out of bed. We have automatic sprinklers, automatic heating and cooling control, automatic T.V. programming, automatic clothes washers and even automatic toilet flushers. A message in my vehicle tells me when it’s time to change the oil, when I’m low on gas, when to be cautious for possible icy conditions.
One aspect in my daily life that I so appreciate one moment, then get very frustrated with in the next moment is the auto correct feature. Yes, I do appreciate when it makes me look better by correcting misspelled words.
But often times, it seems to think it knows what I want to say more than I do. It knows? Did I really say that? Seriously, sometimes it seems like our electronic devices actually have brains. It detects when the wrong form of a verb is used in a sentence structure.
I was doing extensive research on Health Savings Accounts, using the acronym HSA. Yet every time I would type HSA, it would change to HAS. In fact, trying to write this paragraph right now is so frustrating as somehow the computer program thinks I want HAS. After correcting it umpteen times, it finally stays.
I’ve adopted the texting habit for a really quick means of communication. Like I said, it’s nice when my phone corrects the misspelled words, but then it thinks it’s helping me out by changing words or abbreviations that I don’t want changed. There again, it thinks?
I often times type U for You and the message automatically changes to I. Now if I say U, I don’t mean I so don’t mess with me! I once misspelled holler as hollar but rather than correcting the spelling, it changed to Hillary. There’s much more chance that the person I was communicating with would understand my intentions from hollar over Hillary.
We get in a hurry while texting. It’s obvious when I get texts from others as well as when I see my own after they’ve already flown through cyber space that something changed in that instant before hitting the send button.
The other day I intended to use the word something in a message and it changed to sketching. Sketching? Where did that come from?
I was really stumped when the word injury turned to unhurt. Was it Opposite Day?
Apostrophes are automatically added sometimes. But what if I want to say “were,” not “we’re”?
I’ve had “on” change to “in”, “such” change to “SUV”, “signing” to “singing”, “notice” to “unnoticed.” That’s not what I meant. Yes I can turn the automatic feature off at any moment. But sometimes it helps me. I guess even electronic brains can’t be perfect.

LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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