Isn’t technology wonderful! A pain in the arse sometimes, but basically wonderful.
The trouble is, it changes so rapidly. No sooner have we got our heads around one way of doing something than bang – another bit of tech comes along and we’re all having to re-learn.
My first computer (an Amstrad 1640) was state of the art when I got it in 1988 – it had slots for not one but two floppy discs!! Do you remember when floppy discs really were floppy?? Do you even remember floppy discs??
I did computer programming as part of my degree course (which is why I needed the computer) – I spent a year learning how to program in Pascal. That’s a year I’ll never get back…
I got that first computer when I was 28, which was only 32 years ago. But look at how far we’ve come. And imagine how far we’ll go in the next 32 years.
I remember the first email arriving at the office I was working at (1989/1990) – we all gathered around and looked at it. It wasn’t even called an email – it was an electronic mail. We used computers for record-keeping, but that was all. I dictated my letters then passed the tape to my typist (I wonder whatever happened to Julie??), she typed them and handed them back to me, I checked them and then put them in my out tray and they were collected and franked and then posted.
I remember life before Google (anyone remember Ask Jeeves?), I remember life before Facebook (anyone remember Friends United?). I remember Minesweeper. I remember when mobile phones could only be used to make phone calls – and only in emergencies, because they were so expensive.
I think I owned a Palm Pilot once. I know I had the first version of the Apple iPhone (I’ve kept it – it will be a collectors’ item one day). But that was all a long time ago, and somewhere along the way I got left behind.
The trouble is, every time technology moves on (and it’s moving on faster and faster) we don’t just have to remember something new, we have to forget something old.
Thanks to the pandemic, I’ve been bounced into using a lot of tech that I previously wasn’t using. I use WhatsApp to talk face-to-face with my son. I use Zoom for business meetings. I downloaded the Waze app instead of buying a new SatNav. I do virtual gym sessions three times a week. Even the clinical trial that I’m taking part in required me to download an app.
I’m doing most of my kitchen design work virtually now. We use Teams – jeez, that first one was scary. Setting it up seemed so complicated. Now – it’s a doddle. But no sooner had I got my head around doing the designs virtually than I had to learn how to process a finance application over the phone. Another day, another new thing to learn.
I’ve had to learn to use tech in lots different ways. But the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I can learn it.
You can teach an old dog new tricks.
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