As a Gen-Xer, I feel like I do okay with technology. My brother LOVES computers and tech. He is finishing his Master’s Degree in Computer Science after retiring from the U.S. Army. I feel like a tech moron when I am around him. However, I know people who can barely check their text messages or set up their voicemail on their phones. I work with tech all the time, and I am good at the stuff I do on a daily basis. We just installed a new computer system at work: new software, new hardware, new everything. I am in tech overload! So when we had our meeting for setting up the website and the support lady said: “Here’s the web address to set up your website. Call me if you have problems,” I was like, “WHAT???”
Fortunately, I did not have to write the code for our new website. It is a Weebly-based site, so all I had to do was add pictures and text and make it look good. (Hopefully, I succeeded in that.) Our new computer system is through Idexx, and they have a website with LOTS of education material. Included on this site, were several tutorials on setting up your new website.
Unfortunately, since tech moves at the speed of light, not all the tabs were the same on tutorial as on my actual Weebly site. I eventually had to sit down with two computers and build our site while watching the tutorial. There was A LOT of pausing and reviewing until I was able to figure it out.
With Weebly, you click and drag items like images, text and titles onto your page and configure them “how you want.” They have very helpful items like spacers and dividers. The spacers and dividers are REALLY helpful. However, they were new and were NOT included in the tutorial. I watched the tutorial and set about clicking and dragging images onto the pages. I could NOT get the images and text to go where I wanted them. I dragged the item to a place on the site and it would end up somewhere totally different. I was about to have a melt-down after trying multiple times to put text under a picture and having it appear on the opposite side of the page, when I called our helpful website support lady. She was very nice on the phone. I explained my problem and what I was trying to accomplish, and she fixed it for me. She did not explain HOW or what I was doing wrong, she just fixed it. Very helpful for that situation, but what was I to do the next time? I eventually figured out about using the spacers and dividers, and I was able to delete them and put things exactly where I wanted. I had a little trouble making everything line up properly for the mobile version of the website, but once I understood the concept of the spacers and dividers, it did not take me long to set that up right.
Another fun challenge I had was that not all the pictures I could choose from their library could be downloaded and placed where I wanted them. As we all know, computers are very literal and often only tell you that what you are asking is not possible. They do not tend to explain why unless you go to the help menu and know exactly how to ask the correct question in the correct way. I finally gave in and called our website lady, explaining that I was have difficulty downloading pictures from the library to the site. The first one downloaded perfectly and so did the second. She was like, “I don’t know why you were having problems…” So, I hung up and continued working. The next picture I tried to download failed. “Unable to download,” said the site. I was not happy. I was finally able to figure out that only certain pictures could be used for backgrounds, but all the pictures could be used when I cut and pasted. No one ever mentioned that little detail.
Setting up our website was quite a challenge and, with all the other information I have had to take in and process, I kind of feel like I am in school again. I guess it should make me more sympathetic to our kids. I am quite used to asking questions about veterinary-related problems and figuring out solutions, but I had had to step out of my comfort zone for this one. I endured, and I am actually quite proud of what I was able to accomplish. The website is uniquely ours, and I know how to change things or add new items, so I feel like it is much better than anything we have had previously. It is a good thing to learn new things and broaden or horizons, but it isn’t always easy and the process isn’t always fun. I guess it is important to be reminded that there will always be more to learn!