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A love Hate Relaltionship with Technology

I would say I have a love hate relationship with technology.  It can be great, but it can be a PIA too!

My “introduction” started at a very young age as my mom was a computer programmer.  We would go to work with her some times and have fun playing with the Punch Card Machine.     She worked with computers that took up whole rooms!

So that she could work from home, we got a home computer.  We were the only people I knew who had one!  Of course at the time it cost and arm and a leg to buy, and was HUGE.  The disks were true “floppy” disks!  Big and square – that’s right kids, no CD’s heck, no mouse either!

When we went to Day Camp in the summer, it was held at a High School, so we could choose “computers” as one of our activities.  They were HUGE Radio Shack Computers.  They did not have any kind of disk drive on our computers.  We could get games when the teacher “sent” them to us from her computer.   We could also write programs. Of course it wasn’t much more than: Line 10 print smile; line 20 go to 10; RUN!  SMILE would appear all on the screen – pretty cool stuff.  When I was in 8th we had computer class.  There we had Apple Machintosh’s.  The teacher was teaching us how to command the little turtle to move up, down, left, right.  Ummm….lady, can I write you a program?  I know what I am doing, teach me something else!  Sadly, not much else was taught!   When I started High School, typing class was taught to the Seniors (yet, oddly, they wanted Freshman to turn in typed papers!) on TYPEWRITERS!  I can still remember the tapping sounds coming out of that room!  By the time I was a senior we had computers to learn on.

When I headed off to College in 1992, they did have computers we could use in the Dorm.  However, my parents wanted me to have my own thing to work on, so they bought me a Desk Top Word Processor.  It was pretty cool and had printer built right into it.  By then we had graduated to the small no longer floppy disk.

It was about 1992 when I was introduced to e-mail.  We were so excited when we could sent a message to our friends sitting at the computer next to us!  I also discovered “newsgroups” – a place that you could post/read messages.  There was one for pen-pals, and I posted there.  I got so many messages!  I ended up only communicating with a few guys – I remember I had one in Canada, Washington DC, and even Australia! (well, at least that is where they SAID they lived.   1993, I had my first Instant Messaging with friends in Michigan! It was pretty exciting.

In 1993/1994 my sister was living in Russia – we had limited e-mail contact with her.  It was pretty funny trying to teach my mom (the computer programmer) how to SEND a message!  Back then you didn’t have a send button – you had to hit “Control X, then Control C” and it would send!

in 1995 I moved to Virginia for a year.  Cell phones were just becoming more popular, but were very expensive.  I did not have one, although looking back it would have been nice!  I also had very limited access to e-mail, and since none of my friends had it, it didn’t really matter.  But, my friends did send me MAIL – real mail with a stamp on it and everything!  It was always nice to get a letter, and I still have all of them – as the ones I got in my college days.

I think sometime after I got back, e-mail was starting to pick up. One night I made plans to meet a friend for dinner – we never once TALKED about it. It was ALL done through e-mail.  When we met, we talked about how weird that was!

Thus the start of the HATE relationship with technology!   Why is it that we don’t pick up a phone any more to make plans or just to see how someone is? Have we become so involved with the computer, that we have forgotten how to speak?  Of course, that would lead us into Texting, and how I have read stories from teachers saying how kids don’t even know how to write a paper any more because it is all “text talk”! (LOL)

I have a Cell phone – who doesn’t? It was of great help to me when Alexander was sick – I knew that I could be reached or reach Richard in an emergency.  But, and I have been guilty of this myself many times, do we have to ALWAYS talk on it?  I know some people have given up land lines completely, and I must say I am not there yet, and I don’t think I ever will be.  How does that work in a household? Does everyone have their own phone? If you 8 year old wants to call their friend, do they use your phone?  How do they get calls?  And people are on them ALL the time – at the store, mall, doctors office (again, I am guilty too)  Someone I know just posted that they hear people in the PUBLIC BATHROOM on their phones!!

My Awesome mom gave me an iPod Touch 2 years ago for Christmas, and I LOVE it!  I love the Wi-Fi – but then again I HATE it!  Do I HAVE to be checking my e-mail all the time, or logging on to facebook!

But on the love side – I was away on vacation when a friend from CAMPS was coming to the end of his life – I was able to keep in touch with people, and find out I needed to come back a day early to be able to attend his funeral.

The internet was a lifeline for me when Alexander got sick.  I had given up Facebook for Lent, but as soon as he got sick, I broke my “fast” and went back on to get the word out, and get people praying!  My carepages not only helped me get the information out to people it helped me to process what was happening.  It also kept me from having to tell the same story over and over again.

So – a love hate relationship – it is a hard balance sometimes – I am GLAD we have technology – but sometimes well….I will just have to step back.


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