A Techno Mockery

At some point in our lives we’ve mocked our parents for not being tech savvy. But is that justified? I’ll give you one word. Phonograph. Or as some of you may have heard it called-a turntable. Just looking at one you would think it’s easy to just put a record on and play it. Right?


When my mom brought a turntable home I was thrilled but then I became completely baffled. How does it work?  Like, how do you know where to place the needle for a new song to play? I kept asking questions.

Turntables today are generally portable, rectangular, and have a top and bottom that opens.  The most difficult part when trying to play a record is perhaps the needle. When playing a record you have to be very careful with how you place the needle. You risk scratching it, which in turn makes the record skip permanently . This of course makes it challenging to play a specific song on the vinyl. But with a little practice, it’s not that hard. There are three different record sizes. You have your 33, which is the most common album size. Then you have the 45, which doesn’t have many songs on it at all. Lastly, the 78, which is the least common. Just like everything else, turntables need care. Depending on how much you play your record, your needle will eventually need to be replaced. Your records will also have to be cleaned if you want your music to sound crisp and clean. Special brushes and cleaning solutions are sold to ensure that you can safely do so. (I should also mention that most modern turntables even come with Bluetooth, radio, and sometimes aux.)

I am fairly tech savvy. I Excel at using Microsoft Office products, especially PowerPoint (pun intended). WordPress of course is a piece a cake. Laptops, desktops, and smartphones are easy peasy. I even know how to do other desktop publishing.

But this experience of learning how to use old technology has led me to the realization of how nonsensical our techno mockery is. We should think twice before mocking the older generation for not knowing how to use a smart phone. (It does after all take me 5 minutes to type one word on a flip phone.) While I am not a Luddite, trying to use a turntable for the first time sure made me feel like one. My point is that some of us may not be as tech savvy as we think we are.