I’m sitting in bed with twenty minutes left to get my jotting done before today changes to tomorrow. I have a glass of wine by my side and the world at my very fingertips and I’m kind of marveling, as I sometimes do, at how much the world has changed since I learned to type.
I started on my mother’s 80lb cast iron Underwood. I remember being determined to learn to touchtype even as my fingers missed the keys (which had to be punched as hard as I could muster) and got jammed painfully between them and the hammers (is that what they were called?) got stuck together whenever I hit two keys too close together and the bell dinged when I reached the end of the line. My idea of a computer was the monster at my school which took up an entire room and ate punch cards by the hundreds every minute.
And how many years later? Thirty five very short ones when you consider how long the earth has been around – I’m sitting in bed with a computer on my lap, a tablet and a phone by my side which are all capable of reaching almost any given place on the planet in an instant. Think about it. Seriously, think about it.
Why can’t they make computers that will last? Okay, fine, my desktop is four years old, and my son Chris is on it all the time. Almost. Today it started acting up. It has some sort of bug going on – whether it’s a virus or the hard drive is failing (which I think is the case) I’m not sure. But for an Autistic kid to deal with it’s the end of the world. I’ve spent most of this morning trying to fix the computer while Chris sits beside me beating his head with his fists and yelling.
All this after Alex came home yesterday to an infected laptop. Thank goodness I have Kaspersky on his machine – it cleaned it up quite well, though it took almost two hours to do it. It would work even better if it didn’t give him the choice when it detected an attack to go ahead and trust the virus or get out while the getting is good. He’s a very trusting little guy.
But it’s not only that the technology we use is so delicate which has me upset. Alex’s school has a great new program in which they’re using iPads to carry around in the community so they can communicate with hearing people. Wonderful, right? It would be if the school didn’t expect me to buy him an iPad. And I thought the expense of indoor shoes was bad enough!
And now Chris is asking me for a new computer. What I need is a car. A real one – not the 1993 puddle-jumping Tempo I inherited from my mother when the doctor took her license away in February. Wait, did I say technology? I suppose even the Flintstones thought their “cars” were technology. Anyway, the Tempo has taken to stalling every time I stop now… which I suppose is better than when it was zooming through stop signs no matter how hard I pressed on the brake.
Seriously, I detest whining. I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading.
Kicking and screaming is how they’re going to have to pry my cell phone out of my cold dead hand.
Okay, not really. But seriously, I’m not sure I could live without my cell phone. But it’s not only me, either.
Consider this: When I was young (a teenager) I used to go out with my friends. (Of course.) I’d have a curfew and my mother would be sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to come home. She made sure I had a dime in case I needed to call. I’m sure she must have sat by the phone as well.
Now (these days), when my son went out (he’s moved out now) I’d not have to sit by the phone – it would be in my pocket. He didn’t need a dime – he had a cell. I knew that at any given moment he could call me without needing to look for a payphone.
How did our parents survive back then? I’d be worried poo-less!
I can’t imagine having to go through all that waiting, and wondering, and worrying about my kids. I don’t worry as much about my own safety now either.
I suppose it prepared my mother for when I went to Japan by myself – I didn’t have a cell phone then. But in Japan I felt very safe.
Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. That’s what SoCS is all about though.
What do you think? Could you live without a cell phone? Would you let your kids out of the house at night without one?
That’s not to say that my house is full of stuff I’m never going to use. In fact I love throwing things away. Keeping my life as simple as possible, by not buying what I don’t need and not keeping what I haven’t used in years is something I strive for.
No, my hoarding is reserved for my technological devices. I keep everything, sent and received. Thank goodness for online resources, because I don’t own enough hard drive space to store everything I keep by a long shot.
Why do I keep everything? Some of it is obvious. Pictures, for example, are not easily replaced when they are of family. And stories – I have some as old as ten years and more. Looking back I can see what I’ve done to hone my skills… or at least I like to think I have.
However, it’s my stash of emails that I find the most useful and fascinating. I’m continually moaning about what modern technology has done to disintegrate social interaction: it has become easier and more efficient to email or text than talk to one another. But that’s where the beauty lies.
I remember having arguments with people about what they said or didn’t say. Sometimes these conflicts would last hours, days, even months, and they could never truly be resolved because it was one person’s word against the other. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Now, not only can we retain proof of what was said, a well organized collection of communication can even make it easy to find what we’re looking for, and at the click of a button, we can obtain a proof-positive record of exactly what went down. Not only that, we can record with ease, pictures of the point we’re trying to prove. Say, for instance, you have a friend who ALWAYS does something – take that funny face they make when they’re concentrating for instance – but they are convinced they don’t do it. With technology at our fingertips, all we have to do is whip out that handy phone, snap a pic, and Voila! Told you so!
You didn’t tell me you were going to meet me at 8pm on Thursday for drinks? HA! Here’s the text that proves it!
So there you have it. The reason I hoard everything; because I never know when I’m going to want to prove a point.
And possibly why I don’t have very many friends. 😉