How many of your grandparents could drive a car? Three of my grandparents couldn’t. There was no need of it. Seventy years ago, I probably knew 20 women who did not know how to drive. They never needed to drive a car, and they lived with it.

You realize that in any culture and in any age, people know how to do whatever it takes to get by. This might be clubbing woolly mammoths for food, hacking computers at election time or anything in between.

This was recently brought to my attention by a good friend who refuses to believe that I don’t know how to find what she calls “the feed” on my Facebook page.

Peggy has tried to explain the concept of “the feed” to me several times, but I still can’t understand what it is or what it does. Could this be because “the feed,” being a first cousin to “the app,” is a term that I don’t need to know? Without my knowing anything about “the feed,” or about “apps,” I’ve still got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.

Do you still marvel that nowadays, an entire television set is no more than a flat screen? When our little TV screen would play only in black and white, we figured that the problem might be in the screen and not the TV box, so we went to town and bought a new screen. When it still wouldn’t work, I called both the TV people and the screen company. Each pointed accusing fingers at the other. But with the new screen on our side, the company finally sent out a technician, who installed a new box.

Bringing in an expert to fix anything in the home is still foreign to me. It doesn’t feel right. When I was a kid, there wasn’t anything in the house my father couldn’t fix. Today, the grandchildren show up with strange electronic devices, and I don’t even dare ask what they are.

The other day a 16-year-old neighbor showed up with a little helicopter called a drone, and I have the first picture ever taken of me by a drone. When he showed me how you can check out your woodlot and find lost cows with the thing, I resolved to buy one – until he said it cost $1,300.

Our addiction to electronics can also be a menace to life and liberty. My buddy Davis recently asked me to go into town with him to get lawn mower parts.

I said I’d go if he’d promise to not use his phone while driving. He agreed. As we were coming into town, it made a noise, so he pulled off the road and answered it. After chatting, he hung up before we continued on our way.

But coming home from town, he had his phone in his hand as he was driving, reminding me of Linus and his security blanket. And here we thank you for never texting while behind the wheel – even when stopped at red lights.

I often go to sleep with my 50-cent earphones plugged into my wife’s laptop, listening to Stanford’s Robert Sapolsky lecture on genes or chaos theory. When I wake up, my wife, Marsha, has usually already unplugged the laptop and, being careful not to strangle me, has put it on the floor by the bed.

So I freely admit to taking a computer to bed. Unless you have very good light and strong glasses, listening is easier than reading yourself to sleep.

Do you know any children who are so addicted to their electronic devices that they take them to bed? I wouldn’t get too upset over it because children have always crept off to bed with a new toy or even creepy crawly pets.

A story that recently circulated on the internet told of a child whose mother found him sitting up in bed, his wide-open bloodshot eyes staring vacantly into space in the glow of his iPad. Thinking he’d had some kind of fit, she shook him several times before he responded. The poor mother couldn’t figure out why her well-balanced, happy child was so addicted to an electronic game that he ended up in a catatonic stupor.

Turn back the clock to 1440, when you might have heard Gutenberg’s neighbor say: “His mother found the child sitting up in bed, his wide-open bloodshot eyes staring vacantly into space next to his first book. Thinking he’d had some kind of fit, she shook him several times before he responded. The poor mother couldn’t figure out why her well-balanced, happy child was so addicted to his first book that he ended up in a catatonic stupor.”

Every age has its own hazards.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at his website:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/ MainePrivateRadio.html