This is what I used to think.
For a long time, I’ve complained about technology…how complicated it can be, easier to use a paper calendar, how much it intrudes in our lives. Really…just a crank about it. You’d never know I was a software developer in a previous life.
Then it started to slowly change.
I resisted getting a cell phone… if people want to reach me they’ll call the house and leave a message. But I acquiesced and found a lovely freedom by being able to communicate when I was not home without having to dig for a quarter to use the pay phone – and now pay phones barely exist.
Then it was my idea to get our son a cell phone when he was in the 4th grade. It was the year of 9/11, and we were all a little fearful – couldn’t exactly pinpoint the fear all the time, but if we could reach each other, when running late for example, it felt better.
The ability to start my own business as a VA for non-profit organizations was only doable because of PC’s and the internet, cell phones, and knowledge of maintaining websites…and that’s what enabled me to be a work-at-home mom.
Texting? Oh, I used to get so annoyed when my son would text a friend instead of calling…how were these kids ever going to learn to communicate as humans? But now I’m hooked… it’s a great way for me to contact my son when the need presents itself, or to text my husband with a list when he offers to stop at the grocery store or for takeout on his way home from work – and now I just text friends to check in and say hi. Who knew?
Classes on line, forums on the internet, webinars, Facebook, Words with Friends…
…and Skype! Skype is my absolute favorite. I truly disliked it when I first tried it with a friend from the UK. He wouldn’t communicate any other way, though, so I had to sign up and give it a try. I’m delighted I did because it has meant free computer-to-computer calls to friends all over the world, coaching clients on line, and face-to-face time with our son during his first year of college.
But finally, these past 3 weeks have made it very clear to me that I’ve just been a reluctant lover – trying to resist the inevitable pull of technology’s charms.
After picking up my son up from his first year at college a few weeks ago, he was able to Skype his dad with his iPhone to show him ALL the stuff in the car (Really? We brought all that down last September?!). Even though my husband had an unavoidable trip to Belgium that meant he wouldn’t be with us – he could be with us! How cool is that – driving home while listening to my son having face-time with his dad…
In these last 14 days, I’ve fallen head-over-heels.
I had to make an unexpected trip to Belgium because my husband had emergency eye surgery. Technology and timing were critical to so many things we were able to do to help him have a more comfortable experience, even though he was a continent and an ocean away…
…from using cell phone texting to find our eye doctor in the states so he could talk to my husband before the surgery, to actually getting here and using my European cell phone to access www.translate.google.com when I don’t know how to say something in French – it’s the best.tool.ever (besides pointing) for a non-linguist like me. It will actually ‘tell’ me how to say what I want to say. How amazing is that – to be able to ‘communicate’ in almost any language with the help of that cell phone I resisted so much in the beginning.
And back home, using my computer, writing a blog post, posting an interview, coaching via Skype, staying in touch with friends, family, and neighbors, all at a reasonable cost.
Technology is helping to bring the human race closer, communicate better and more often, make global changes in the world (even toppling dictators), and it’s helping us realize in a concrete physical way that we really are more connected than we ever knew.
But in my own little world of loved-ones all over this globe, it just brings a long overdue smile of delight and contentment to my face, and a feeling of gratefulness in my heart to be so connected whenever the need arises.
I actually feel a little lost now (don’t tell my husband or son), when I don’t have an internet connection or a way to access it.
I’m finally, whole-heartedly, committing to this enchanting seducer I’ve been trying to spurn.
Well…almost whole-heartedy. TV remotes? Not so much…but anything could happen!