Darling, I am growing old,
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today;
Life is fading fast away.

Eben E. Rexford

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Growing older in Cyberspace

I remember the themes of my second and third posts, but not the exact words. Maybe that's a good thing. I know I blabbered on more than you would have liked. I'll just try to recapture some of the main points, and leave it to you to expand if you want.
I'll only try to tackle one of them now. Growing Old in Cyberspace ~ That was the title of one of my lost posts. It was more prophetic than I would have thought. Because of my foggy brain, many of my (Oh, so Brilliant) thoughts are gone in cyberspace. My premise was that most of my contemporaries and I are much behind the younger crowd in technology. My grandchildren were exposed to computers in the womb, and can suck up the rapid changes in technology like sponges. We seniors had to transition from the marvels of radio, television, hand-crank telephones, dial telephones, electric typewriters, and teletypes before we were exposed to computers.

I was lucky enough to get into the ground floor of computers, at least the third floor. My first computer was a Mac SE, a magical machine that didn't have a hard drive. I bought it with scholarship money my first year at CSU Chico, which was when I was 47 years old. I didn't buy the SE 20, which had 20 mgs of memory, because I didn't know what a hard drive was, and it cost a couple of hundred dollars more. The basic computer was, after all, over two thousand dollars. Add a $500 printer to that, and I shot my wad. The next fall, I used scholarship money to buy a $500 external hard drive which gave me 20 mgs of memory! This set-up got me through the next five years or so, until I'd saved some money from a few years of teaching.

I bought a new computer when the internet, with it's miraculous email, lured me into spending more money. Many of my contemporaries joined in at this point, having to learn computer basics along with the marvels of cyberspace. I was scrambling to keep up with the now-exploding world of the internet, and it's been a scramble ever since. There are some aspects of computer-speak I'll never understand, and many programs I've chosen not to learn. When I was teaching, I made much use of print programs, Microsoft Office and Filemaker. I've found since, however, that as I've upgraded computers, I've had to buy upgraded versions of programs. Filemaker zoomed out of my price range, and my most current version of office is 2003. That works on my new PC laptop with System 7, but on my 2009 Mac, I make do with the basic programs that came with it.
Somehow I got seduced into the world of facebook, along with many of my friends. We're all struggling with the fact that we barely master one part of it, only to have it changed. I feel a little smug when I hear my younger friends complaining about the same thing. Oh well, there are more of us learning together.

Many of my friends have chosen not to delve into computerland, so I find I have more trouble keeping in touch. I lovingly call them dinosaurs, one of whom is my husband who won't come within three feet of my computer. He has at least learned how handy computers are, and often asks me to look up something for him. He also doesn't grumble as much over the money I've spent on technology, which is a plus!

I'm still resisting buying a smartphone, since I rarely even turn my cell phone on. I'm thinking of getting us the simple models where you can buy minutes as you go. I know if I do that, however, I'll soon be lamenting that I can't take pictures or text (still learning how to do that) or play Words with Friends on my phone. I don't have data on my phone now, but I do have an iPod that came with my Mac. I can play games with my kids on that as long as I'm near a Wi-Fi. Oh, I forgot to mention how Wi-Fi has become a necessity in my home.

Will someone please place a moratorium on technology so I can catch my breath?

(Sorry, my recap is longer than my original post!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Wish I'd had your computer background when I started. I finally accepted the fact technology was never going to slow down and I would just have to live with it.