So, I am learning to use my new Tobii eye gaze communication device. I was warned about the learning curve and they were right. I am dictating this post (s l o w l y) in Dragon because I am not yet comfortable with Tobii.
I was so excited when we were finally able to get the device on our Wi-Fi network. Even more excited when we linked up my Facebook and email accounts to it. But…
Back when I was using my iPad I discovered that I preferred accessing Facebook through the web browser rather the Facebook app. It seemed like using the app limited access to some of the posts, features, and tools I was used to on the Facebook site itself. On the Tobii, I access Facebook via an icon on the “set page” which is used for most of the communication functions. Unless I am mistaken, there does not seem to be a way for me to see what my friends are posting in the way of photos. So far I have been unable to read comments on posts. However, it is easy for me to post text. As long as I don’t mind being unable to read any of my friends’ comments on what I say.
Naturally, I realized that there would be limitations. And I am grateful that I will have a relatively easy way to communicate with people who are in the same room with me once I am unable to speak at all. However, those of us who have been using technology to stay in touch with friends and family have higher expectations, I guess. Clearly the technology is amazing. But I can see there is room for improvement. Either that or I simply need more time to learn the tricks needed to make the technology work for me.
At this point, I cannot figure out how to blog using Tobii. Anyone out there doing so now? Please enlighten me!
The email function is a mystery. On my laptop I have saved quite a few messages in folders, but try to keep my inbox cleared out regularly. When we linked my Gmail account to the Tobii it tried to download all of the saved messages. Apparently it ran out of room. The most recent messages it showed were from December 2013! Again, from what I can see, I will not be able to open attachments or see pictures. Unsure if I am mistaken about this.
Our Tobii rep kindly offered to stop by later this week to help. And I am so grateful. Meantime, I will continue to practice and try to be patient!
I have to remember that I have had frustrations with every new electronic device I have ever used. I refuse to give up! I WILL master this thing.
And speaking of technology, a friend suggested I might enjoy audiobooks since I can no longer turn pages. Excellent idea! Alan picked up a couple at the library the other day. Yesterday he set me up with Disc 1 of one of the books. Headphones on, eyes closed, I was enjoying this thoroughly. And then I woke up. I have no idea where I fell asleep in the story. Good grief.
So my relationship with technology seesaws between love and hate. I imagine this is common. Since the first days of the industrial revolution, I’m sure people have both blessed and cursed the devices created to make life easier.
I am extremely grateful for all of the devices that help us cope with ALS. My frustrations will sort themselves out, I’m sure. Patience. I need patience. NOW!
Want to help? The next time you have issues with an electronic device feel free to apply a little “percussive maintenance” for me, okay? Give it a swift kick or bonk it on the top or side. Say, “That’s for Patty!” Thank you.