“The computer is a wonderful invention!”
If anybody said that to me seven years ago, they would have received a derisive sneer,
along with my standard diatribe:
“Who needs computers?
“I’ve gotten along fine without one until now.”
“Waste of time.”
My father. a serious “computerholic” since the 90s, was constantly nagging me to get one. Much to his frustration, I resisted all of his entreaties and went happily about my business. While visiting my parents in November 2008, (we lived 2000 miles apart), he blithely announced that he was giving me a computer for Christmas. I threw every argument at him that came to mind, including that it was too big to travel home with. Ha! The joke was on me because he ordered a laptop and a printer on the internet, to be delivered straight to my front door, the day after I returned home. I had to admit, that was pretty cool! Of course, he added a little dig; told me it was time I came into the 21st century. This from an 81-year-old man! Made me feel somewhat sheepish.
Okay then; where to begin? For the first few days, it stayed in the box. I just kept looking at it and walking away, over and over again. Frankly, it scared me! Came the time when I had a couple of days off. No more excuses!
Well, guess what? It took me about 4 hours, but, I got it up and running all on my own, just by reading the instructions. Very impressed with myself, I was!
Then came the internet hookup, which also went without a hitch.
All systems go!
The next couple of months were fascinating, just trying to learn everything. Trial-and-error was my main method, still is, plus advice found on the net. Kind of a fearless approach and there were some panicked moments when the computer refused to do what it was supposed to. All in all, I took to it like the proverbial “duck to water”.
My online habits changed completely after discovering a question and answer site, (MSN QnA), where people seemed to know each other and care about one another. Just like real world friendships! Interesting concept! I ended up making friends myself and visiting the site daily. How great is that, when you can meet people all over the world, without leaving your chair? Since then, I have met two of them in person and the friendships flourished even more! I was also thrilled to reconnect with my best friend from high school, who lives in Italy now.
One coincidental meeting really illustrates how computers have shrunk the world. I met a woman from Germany, (where I was born), who, as a child, had been a patient of my grandfather’s, (a dentist). She still lives in that area and sent me some photos of the old neighbourhood. Both of us were completely amazed by this turn of events and arranged to meet in Germany, during our Sept. 2013 trip to Europe. We had a lovely time and it was also thrilling to see my grandparents’ home again, after all those years – 41 to be exact!
Next, came the insidious, but entertaining Facebook habit, where I made
a few many more friends. This, after flatly stating I would never go there. Ha! (Bet I’m not the only one.)
Now, of course, I’m submerged in the “Blogosphere” and meeting even more new people. Along with this, comes Twitter, Google+, etc. etc. For me, the greatest thing about blogging is that it reawakened my long-dormant muse. Writing has become a pleasure once more and hopefully, those books I’ve wanted to write since childhood will become reality. (Still working on that!)
Oh yes, the computer is a wonderful invention!
© D.D.B. 2013/2014/2015 (except as noted)
[Originally published Jan. 14, 2013. Revised Feb. 12, 2015]
How has the computer changed your life?