I have in my possession the latest item in a string of things resisted only to love them eventually. I speak of things technical.
I am like a jungle dweller who finds on the leafy jungle floor some item from the modern world that has fallen from the sky. He picks it up; turns it around in his hand; sniffs it; shakes it; bites it, and deciding that it is of no use whatever, tosses it far into the depths of the undergrowth.
Paul, adventurous soul that he is, has suggested over the years that I get various labour saving devices. I could not see why I needed a dishwasher (and this was when I was caring for a household of 16.) What use would it be? I couldn't see how it would beat doing the dishes by hand as I went along. I smile now at my silliness.
Then he thought that I needed a microwave. I did not trust those things one bit and was convinced that we would mutate and grow extra limbs. But he prevailed and dragged me with him into the modern world. What would I do without a microwave now for reheating and thawing? And I still have the same number of limbs I started out with!
The pace of it all is breathtaking though. I was talking to a friend at the writers conference I attended last month. I remember only a few years ago that she came to the conference with a keyboard called an Alphasmart and it seemed like the most amazing thing since the rest of us were all taking notes with pen and paper. By that time I did have a computer at work, but it was a big desktop thing that took up most of my desk. Now, the lounge at the conference centre is filled with people with laptops, connecting with people who are not at the conference in between sessions.
And "cell phones?" They looked like walkie talkies and had telescopic aerials that had to be pulled out. This wasn't that long ago!
I have friends with a technological bent, one of them being Irene, from whom I have inherited various pieces of equipment--otherwise I would never in a million years seek them out. One was a Palm Pilot that I was initially quite intimidated by. But soon I was convincing my friend Dave, who at the time was even more techno-phobic than me, that this gadget would revolutionize his life. I can't remember if I did convince him (I don't think so,) or what was so fabulous about it!
Irene passed on a laptop to me and said, "What will you do with your computer now?"
"Do with it?" I had thought I'd still need it for something! Her question helped me wean myself off it and I gave it to someone who needed a newer one at work as we all seemed to have ancient equipment at the time. I have never looked back since when it comes to laptops. I can't imagine using anything else--but of course, eventually, I will!
Now I'm wondering if the latest piece of technology that my boss handed to me is going to have the same wondrous effect. It took me several days to charge it up. And I am still thinking, "Yes, but what does it do?"
I am embarrassed at my lack of technical imagination and curiosity. It seems that purpose has to be the driver for me and yet I don't easily see it. Is it lost on me or will I get with the program? Am I a hopeless case?
That remains to be seen! :)