24 Comments#FlashbackFriday, Blogfests, Computers and Internet, Life, Writing/Blogging

Welcome to the fourth edition of FLASHBACK FRIDAY, where old posts are given new life!


Flashback Friday, hosted by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined, is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.” Please add your link to the list at the end of the post if you’d like to join in.


[Originally published Jan. 14, 2013. Revised Feb. 12, 2015 ►]

“The computer is a wonderful invention!”


If anybody said that to me eight 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.”

“Unjustified expense.”


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 2500 miles [4000 km] 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: “It’s time you 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!

Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

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. 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 so many 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!


How has the computer changed your life?

Looking forward to your comments!


Next #FlashbackFriday is on September 30th. See you there!
Add your link if you want to join the blogfest:

check footer down arrow

Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

Add your thoughts:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24 thoughts on “COMING INTO THE 21ST CENTURY | #FlashbackFriday

  1. Great story, I’m glad you warmed up to computers 🙂 I had an opposite experience with computers. Like yours, my dad was into computers and he worked with them. We had a computer in our home my entire life, and I have been using one since I was 6. I could run a game and login to Windows from MS-DOS. I’ve watched the evolution of computers and the birth of the World Wide Web and it has been fascinating.

    1. You must be a real pro! 🙂 I do remember MS-DOS from office computers in the ’80s and early ’90s, but there was no internet at the time and I left in 1992. Missing the inception of the internet is a bit of a regret now, but I didn’t care back then. Thanks for dropping in!

  2. Even though my father was into computers back in the day (70’s/80’s), I never dealt with on a heavy basis until the mid 90’s when I went to work for state government entity. So I kind of dealt with the infancy of the ‘Net (how many here remember Netscape? Groupwise e-mail? ListServs?). Granted, some 20 years later I’m still using a computer in varying degrees (work and writing), but I’m probably one of those rare few who can go unplugged and not have withdrawal symptoms in the process.

    1. When I left the corporate world in 1992, our computers still had no internet, so I missed its inception. Not that I cared at the time. 🙂 Still, it must have been interesting and I kind of regret that now. Sounds like you’re not as addicted as the rest of us. That’s probably a good thing. My “to-do” list around the house keeps growing. Thanks for dropping in!

  3. This was a lovely, nostalgic throwback read and to think that most of us, despite being ages apart, took to the laptop and the internet as recently as 8 or 9 years ago. Talk about fast paced tech! I think it’s pretty amazing how the world shrinks both online and off it, considering the kind of people I’ve met online. Your dad is definitely ahead of you 😉

    1. It’s amazing how the internet has brought people together from all over the world. 🙂 My father got his first computer in the early ’90s and took many courses. He created beautiful Christmas cards every year and was heavily into photography as well. Back in the ’80s, we had computers in the office, for billing and inventory control purposes, but there was no world wide web.

  4. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    Looking back it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t using computers and the myriad other devices upon which we now rely so heavily, right dear friend?

    Yours is a story with an unusual twist. Most people beg and plead with their parents trying to introduce them to the joys of computer literacy. It surprised me to learn that you were the holdout and your 81 year old father was the one who dragged you kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It turned into a blessing for you. Learning to use a computer enriched your life, brought you in contact with people from your past, enabled you to form new friendships and to rediscover your writing muse.

    My parents both died before the computer became a staple of life in most households. My older brother remains unyielding in his opposition to modern technology and refuses to learn how to use a computer regardless of how often I encourage him to take the plunge. I know how much he is missing. He doesn’t. As for me, I can’t imagine life without my computer. I started using a laptop in the late 90s and now own a pretty nice desktop PC. In the early and mid 2000s I reconnected with a classmate from high school, a girl that I once dated. We exchanged emails for several years until her untimely death from illness. I am thankful that we had the opportunity to get reacquainted and reminisce before fate pulled the plug.

    I am not much of a joiner and remain limited to a blog account and a YouTube account, unwilling to branch out to Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media because they consume gobs of time – time that, at my age, is becoming more and more precious. In fact I am already too busy and, as a result, I am currently in the process of downsizing my circle of friends, ending some relationships and keeping only the ones that show the greatest potential for genuine, long term friendship.

    Thank you very much for the entertaining post, dear friend Debbie. Have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Shady. 🙂 Yes, my situation is a bit unusual, but I can’t imagine life without personal computers, now. Great story about connecting with your old girlfriend. I’m sorry it had a sad ending! You’re so right about social media being a time suck. Although I have accounts everywhere (trolling for future book buyers), most of my online activities involve blogging and blog promotion (with a little Facebook kibitzing thrown in). The nature of my business allows for plenty of spare time (dogs sleep a lot) and I’m hooked. Looks like my father created a monster! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Cheers!

  5. Well since I am a software developer, computer is the source of my daily bread 😛 I had always been hooked to online world. It started with Orkut and then to Facebook. In between came a lot of myspace, hifi and few more … I made a lot of friends too through blogging… and I also got to know you through your blogs 🙂

  6. Things I like most,, lets See,,,, meeting friends fron Canada to Iran to Turkey, etc……………. seeing interesting pictures of places I have been and some I will never go visit………………………… keeping in contact at the touch of an updated typewriter,,plus, haha,
    and then just turning it off, when I want to do something else, with.NO complaints from the CP, then pick It up again when I Am ready………………………, sound selfish, ya betcha ya,, Smiling… 1 to 10. scale… 25.. :).. TY for letting me be able to make this statement from Fla, to Canada in just a few mins..” great article Debbie,, keep them coming, please.:)

  7. Great post and thanks for including Betty. I can’t imagine living in a world without computers, even though I was born into one where only major corporations had ones that were any good. I think it’s the swift advancement of the technology that caught so many people off guard, then add a fully functioning internet to that and minds get blown and people retreat in fear. There are still times when I wish my mom was still afraid of technology, but that’s usually only when she’s posting to Facebook.

  8. Well, I could never have worked freelance successfully until computers came along; in fact we were struggling for communication in the first five years of computing, in my life, before email became commonplace. As for now, well I most certainly wouldn’t have started writing without it, let alone publishing.

  9. I like everything about this, Debbie! From Betty Boop, cyber-friendships going real-world, to -you knew this was coming- you finding your muse 😉 Fabulous! I’ve seen how well you write and can’t wait to see more.
    My jobs required computer proficiency for payroll, payables, spreadsheets, etc. It wasn’t until I was semi-retired that I learned to share and socialize. Some days I wonder if that was such a good thing as paperwork piles up on my desk with WIPs collecting dust. I dearly loved it when I had the first Selectric II typewriter on the (business) block, and even more once I obtained my own, but the computer eclipses all – simply because I have terrible handwriting.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Diedre. 🙂 Yes, my muse got buried way back in the ’70s. Nothing but rejection slips and I needed to pay bills. 😛 Instead, I fell into the morass known as the corporate world and was imprisoned there for a couple of decades. Computers were introduced in the ’80s, for basic stuff like invoicing and inventory control, but there was no internet. Our office also had Selectric II typewriters. I thought they were “cutting edge” at the time and got my own as well. It’s amazing how far we’ve come since then!

  10. In the early 90’s the newspaper where I worked introduced computers. I was the only women in my department. The men snickered and complained about the ‘changes ‘ and I thought this is my chance to advance. I leared everything I could, asked to be sent to trainings and conferences and ended up working at a much bigger newspaper, heading a department.
    I sometimes long for the days before the Internet but admit I’m not giving it up anytime soon.

    1. That was a smart move, Doreen! We had computers at work in the ’80s for invoicing and inventory control purposes, but no internet. I left the corporate world in 1992 and didn’t think about computers at all until my father forced the issue. 🙂

  11. Sounds like you and I have been on a parallel journey. Before his death in 1990, my father was very interested in computers. This was before windows and computers being so easy. He took classes to learn computer languages and immersed himself in learning about computers. I learned to play Tetris and a couple of other games on his computer, but that was about it. I had no interest in computers otherwise.

    Over a decade later I was visiting my sister and her husband and began playing around with their computer. I was amazed at all the information I could have access to online. Soon I was sold on the merits of owning a computer. There’s no turning back for me now. Computers provide so much potential.

    Arlee Bird

    1. What a coincidence, Lee! 🙂 My father took many computer courses as well. He had a massive desktop with two monitors and I had a hard time getting used to the mouse, but I finally learned how to send email on it. The laptop he bought me was pretty cool and I figured things out quickly after that. You’re right; there’s no going back!

  12. I was the same way with Facebook. I said for years and years that I would never join and that I didn’t get the point of it. Turns out I was wrong. I set up a FB page a couple of years ago and am on it almost every day 🙂

    1. Hahaha! I think there are many people out there, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with Facebook. 😀 I hated it initially and de-activated my account. Then, somebody showed me how to block all the notifications and other stuff I didn’t want. That made it much more pleasurable. Thanks for dropping in!

    1. I had no idea that one could develop online friendships that are every bit as real as those in the physical world. That was such a revelation! 🙂 Thanks for dropping in.