I’ve been a keen advocate of technology for most of my life – working in the computer departments of several major companies. I had the internet installed in my home around 1994 and found it extremely tedious at the time. I have encouraged all my children to use the Internet and all forms of technology from a very early age but have been mindful of the pros and cons of the Pandora’s Box.
I got my first mobile phone as a free gift from the TSB in 1999 and gave it to my ten year old daughter! I had no intention of ever being in possession of one for myself because I hated the thought that anyone could contact me anytime anywhere! There was also the fact that most people I knew didn’t have one either.
As technology expanded I needed to continually update my knowledge so as to keep one step ahead of my kids. I bought all the latest computer technology for myself and my children and, although they had the latest PCs (with inbuilt microphones, cameras and TV), iPods and mobiles, Nintendos, Xbox, Dreamcast et al, I still resolved not to purchase a mobile for my own use. However, I always had a top-of-the-range PC with all the essential peripherals. Twenty five years have elapsed since I bought my first Intel 386SX in 1985 and the world of virtual reality has become a new religion. Sadly, like all religions, it is open to abuse and misinterpretation.
My daughters joined FB when it first became available around 2005. They were already members of other chat groups and forums but they fell by the wayside when FB became the place to be. I decided to join, mainly to keep an eye on what they were up to, but they soon made it clear, as teenagers, they didn’t want their mum posting and commenting. In consequence, I was bullied off in a way – but I didn’t mind because I felt confident in their ability to traverse the social media dramas.
I rejoined in 2009 amazed at how much it had evolved in just four years. I contacted former colleagues and friends but I soon became dismayed to be constantly bombarded with details of their day to day existence. I became bored with pictures of the meals they’d eaten, the swimming class they’d attended or the films they were watching. How could anyone find that remotely interesting?
I was at the point of deleting my account once again when I contacted my nephew whom I hadn’t seen for many years. He told me that his dad (my brother) was in hospital! I immediately dropped everything and went to visit him.
When I saw my brother for the first time in many years I couldn’t believe my eyes…