The Recovering Farmer

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Modern Technology and You

The request was simple and straight forward. I had left for a few days and had inadvertently taken some cheques with me that needed to be deposited. My wife suggested I simply deposit them in an ATM. No problem you say but I care to differ. Always having shied away from the use of modern technology, I was not convinced that I could carry out the task. For twenty years I have used a debit card to make purchases and to withdraw cash. Never ever have I used a machine to deposit money.

I called my son and said I would be by to pick him up so he could help me with this major task. Needless to say he laughed at me. However, he humored me, and came along for the ride. As payback for mocking me I made him give me a haircut. Probably not the smartest move on my part, but then again it’s tough to sabotage a haircut as I am follicley challenged. However, I digress. Turns out depositing money using an ATM is rather quick, efficient and, best of all, easy for a technologically impaired guy like me.

How often as farmers do we go through the same fear and frustrations? Each year we are bombarded by offers of new technology. I once chatted with a farmer who traded in his combine every 2 years because he was convinced that the new technology paid for itself by harvesting a better crop. Hmmmm. Not sure of that logic. But sometimes new technology does pay. The key is for all of us to try and decide what will pay and what will not. It used to be said that “anyone could farm, that all that was necessary was a weak mind and a strong back, but nowadays to be a successful farmer a person must have a good head and a wide education in order to handle all the advice ladled out by city folk, government people and others and to select for use that which will do them the least damage.” A lot of truth in that one.

Years ago we could quietly go about our business. Do what we thought was best. Purchase only if we could afford it. Today, with modern technology, particularly as it concerns communication, we are aware of all that is available. We are more aware of what our neighbors have. We see more proof of how something new could work so well. We are constantly being driven to upgrade. The decisions are endless. The ramifications could affect us for a lifetime.

As economic challenges come our way we are left to make decisions that are difficult at best. Always second guessing, always wondering. It is downright stressful. Often it helps talking these decisions through with someone. At times I found myself talking about it and when the person I was talking to would respond I would tell them I didn’t need their advice, just needed to think out loud. Sometimes I even talked it through with myself. Just hoped nobody would notice that because it invariably turned into an argument. Whatever works. Make it a good one.

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