Let’s set things straight from the get go. I am totally down with fire, the wheel and sliced bread. I have long seen clear and absolute advantages and the sheer convenience of being comfortable with all three. Much of what has been developed thereafter leaves me somewhat confused, bewildered and more than a little bit scared at times to be honest.
Computers and the internet in particular are the two things that scared me and sometimes still do scare me the most, yet the very same two things that most people, in the modern western world at least, would struggle to cope without. People run their life by computer, it’s how they do their work, chat to friends, buy their groceries, access music, book holidays, gather information and stay connected to the big wide world. I have also finally jumped on board…somewhat reluctantly, carefully, cautiously and with a very light touch over the past 10 years or so….but I’m here.
A dozen or so years ago, right before I met my husband, I were, what he and the other technology savvy, early adopting folk would commonly refer to as, a Luddite.
At my high school, in country Victoria, Australia, back in the 1980’s, computer studies, was an elective subject. In all my teenage wisdom, I had discarded the notion that one would ever need to know anything about computers, along with physics or advanced mathematics….what possible use could any of them be in real life. Sigh. Far more worthy of my time was drama class, now, that would definitely help me in my pursuit to become a world-famous actress…..but let’s save that story for another day.
Anyhooooo….moving right along. I got through my teens, twenties and much of my thirties without much need for computers, or physics or advanced mathematics for that matter, ( I laugh in the face of long division). If I wanted music I bought a tape, or a record or a CD, if I wanted a holiday I went to a travel agent, if I needed to spell something I used a dictionary, if I wanted to add something up I used a calculator, if I wanted to talk to someone I’d pop around for a cuppa or call them on the one and only home phone, if I needed food I’d walk to the shop…..I’m sure you get the idea.
And then I met my husband, Mr-Computer-Nerd-Extraordinaire. Shocked as he was at my inability to even know where to begin to turn on a lap top, he vowed to bring me, kicking and screaming if need be, to the 21st Century.
Many tears were shed and plenty of “fuck this shit’s” and “I can’t do it’s” flew regularly in our house. More than one time I slammed the computer lid down and stormed out of the room in pure frustration. He held steadfast though and eased me, ever so patiently into the modern world of computers and the internet. Actually, that last sentence is utter bullshit….at times he got angry and very frustrated, not so much at my lack of understanding, but at my unwillingness to open my mind, shut up, listen and learn. I was and sometimes still am, a stubborn student.
Steady as she goes and easy does it, one step and a time and little by little I began to learn. I started to understand and despite my stubbornness and sometimes even against my will, shit was sinking in….I was actually learning!
Before I knew it I was sending emails and zipping around on Google like an old hat. I would sit for hour upon hour looking up anything and everything to do with the CIA, FBI, Mossad, MI5 and MI6, ASIO and James Bond….(I was going through an “I wanna be a spy” phase, still am a bit). I would find recipes to cook and while away hours on real estate sites, looking at houses I’ll never be able to afford to buy. I’d Google the Top 10 of just about everything you can imagine and jot down, old school, with pen and paper my findings of the best hotels, yachts, cigars, watches, in-ground swimming pools, roller coasters etc, etc, etc. I have notepad after notepad full of this information….all of it I’m sure I will need one day, honestly.
I found travel sites like Tripadvisor and found forums where I could talk all day long if I wanted to about things I loved that other people loved too. I’d visit the Vegas forum every day and got to know all the regulars who post. It was like a little family and I loved them. We shared trip reports and inside jokes. I was really starting to get this whole computer malarkey and I began to wonder what my life had been like before a computer…..I struggled to remember how I survived, even a single day.
And then, along came Facebook, which totally changed my life. I played games and made friends. I could send messages and chat to people on the other side of the world. I joined groups with people who liked the same thing as me, I could put up photos and I’d cut and paste funny status updates that I’d stolen from others via my old friend Google.
And here we are today, a mere decade or so later and I am a blogger, writing this blog entry using Microsoft Word for the very first time. Again, on Marc’s suggestion, after losing day 2’s blog entry to cyberspace for reasons known only to the Internet Gawds…..and having to rewrite it, (after a few f-bombs and tears), I am again, learning something new. I don’t know how to save it yet or get it from here over to my blog, but I’m sure Marc will show me how when he get’s home..
Two thumbs up to computers and the internet for connecting even the most reluctant Luddite to the rest of the world….as it should be.