The pros and cons of technology

There are times when I think I like my computer.

There are times when I think I like my computer.

And there are times when I want to whine and cry about how much I hate it like a child whose typewriter has been taken away.

Yesterday was one of them.

My computer was not only acting up, it was playing dead. It would not send messages, pictures or stories anywhere. Nothing. It would not help me with my work one little bit.

It was causing my blood pressure to soar and make me think longingly of my good friend, whom I have dropped as a bad choice.

The cigarette!

“Have you tried shutting it off and re-starting?” at least 250 well meaning people advised me.

“Oh no, what a good idea,” I reply sarcastically, but only in my mind. I didn’t want to annoy anyone who may actually be able to help me.

“Yes,” I say meekly. “Still not working.”

“Well, it seems to be an Internet problem,” says someone else, who really didn’t want to be bothered with my issue. Sighs on both ends of the phone.

They hang up. I hang up. I sigh again. A little more desperately this time.

I finally ended up loading all my stories and pictures on a memory stick and sending them to the FTP site in Red Deer via my co-workers computer.

Her computer is situated a hop, skip and a jump from mine, in other words, it is in the other office.

For some reason, it worked fine.

Weird.

As I was saying, as far as technology and me go—the jury is still out.

But, I am the first to admit it does have its good points.

I was born in the days when the marvel in our little old ‘house on the prairie’ was the telephone.

I know I am dating myself, but ‘oh, well.’ I’m serious here.

I remember the day it happened.

I had gone to school like always, and when I came home, some guy from AGT (that’s what they were called in those days), came in and attached this box like thing with a receiver attached to one side and this wind up crank thing on it to the wall in our living room.

They called it a telephone.

Needless to say, I was intrigued and, of course, grateful to Alexander Graham Bell for coming up with such an invention!

I immediately phoned my sister. In reality she lived so close I probably could have yelled at her, but I wanted to see if the thing actually worked.

I rang her ring. Three shorts!

Lo and behold, she answered. Actually, so did almost all of the rest of the town. Silently, of course. Listening in on a party line was rude, but lots of people did it anyway. In those days it was the short hand of gossip.

I thought about that old phone the other day, when I used my somewhat obsolete Blackberry to snap a picture of my daughter and her husband. And I thought of it again, when my husband showed me a video of two of our grandsons on the golf course taken with his phone.

It’s times like that when I feel all grateful and happy about technology and the fact that we have these phones that can take pictures and videos, and even receive emails.

But, the other times when the computer’s brain or whatever it is inside there that makes it work decides to go AWOL, I think about the good old days when a phone was a phone and a computer was a…….typewriter.

And, just for a crazy, insane moment, I want those days back!

ON THE OTHER SIDE