The internet is in a good mood today. What was I thinking when we invited this thing to live with us? Actually, Bernie issued the initial invitation, without even consulting me. At first it was pretty manageable. It didn’t take up much space and spoke only when it was asked a question. When I took up my career in Early Childhood Family Education, it provided some good resources that I could use in my parenting classes. I found that it was more convenient than running off to the library all the time, even though that was a loss of sorts.
E-mail was quicker than snail mail so seemed like a good idea for a while. But we soon learned that communicating without facial expressions or voice fluctuations can be lethal. People were always misinterpreting their correspondents’ statements. When you have to write the words “ha ha” or “tee hee” after a statement, it is time to pick up the phone or hop a plane. Unfortunately, people didn’t go back to old ways to communicate. They either let relationships burn or they learned to stay superficial when writing their e-mails.
There came a time when they stopped making word processors other than those that lived inside of a computer. This really screwed me up because when I got mad enough at the computer to want to throw it out the window it would remind me that I can’t write without one, unless with pen and paper, and publishers don’t accept hand-written manuscripts any more. In fact, some won’t accept manuscripts that come on paper any more…internet only, please. Besides, my handwriting has so deteriorated over the years, no one can read it. I was trapped.
Even if it weren’t for the word processor need, Bernie would never give up the computer because of the games. For his retirement my kids bought him a Game Boy which has games you can play in a little box that you can carry around. He never used it. He liked the computer better.
Facebook…yikes. Now I keep touch with my family pretty much through Facebook. It is like living in a barracks. If you want to get personal…everybody knows what is going on. I have a friend whose family really came down on her for telling too much on Facebook. Fortunately, everyone in the world came to her defense. Private communication can still happen if you know how to do it and I sort of do. But none of this replaces face to face, or voice to voice. But the younger generation has settled in. They use the old fashioned methods rarely. And they use snail mail never.
Now I blog, in fact now I am blogging, right now, right this minute. My son introduced me to blogging 1 ½ years ago. He set me up and gave me pages of instructions. I absorbed about 10% of those and started on my way. I don’t regret it. I like blogging. I don’t think people read it much, though. Once Chris liked a blog I wrote on parenting and posted it on his Facebook page…my readers jumped from 8 to 50 that day. But I keep doing it because I am writing.
Maybe someday I will be able to find the other 90% of what Chris tried to teach me, maybe not. Truth be known, there is a resistance in me. I don’t like where this is going. I still want to throw the computer out the window sometimes. I miss all the old ways of communicating. I want a paper letter from a grandchild like my mother used to get from my kids. I want to get a phone call or have someone stop my my house on their way to anywhere.