Internet anyone?

I was listening to The Archers Omnibus online this morning, and one of the story lines was about phone cables being stolen and and the resultant chaos in the village as businesses tried to cope without phones, the Internet, and emergency alarms for the elderly.

It isn’t only people who have computers who are affected when computers go down. If the businesses you are using are affected, then you are too. Just a small example was the other day when we had to collect cash from an ATM to pay for a meal because the card reader in the restaurant was down. That was a small thing, but sometimes we realise we are so reliant on computers in order to communicate with other people that when our Internet connection fails it seems a huge disaster.

I got my first computer about thirteen years ago. Within days I was addicted , and wondered how I had managed without it. Actually then, it was a matter of passing the time, surfing the net. These days I use the computer much more for researching different brands and shops if we need a new appliance, checking out places to see, and booking bed and breakfast for the odd break away. On top of that, there’s banking, and checking out car and house insurance…the list goes on and on.

I actually have pre-computer experience of how to do these things without going online, but it occurs to me that people in their twenties will have no memories of life before the Internet, and therefore might be quite lost if suddenly they had to spend time without it. I say I’d know what to do, but that won’t help if (as I suspect may be the case) the businesses I need to deal with are so tied up with modern technology that they don’t have systems in place to allow me to deal with them by old fashioned methods.

And then of course, there’s Facebook. I have to admit that I find a break from it quite difficult. I feel cut off from the people I “meet” on there every day. There are people on there that I’ve never actually met, or have only met a few times, and if it wasn’t for Facebook I might not think about them for months at a time. But as I do have contact, I find that it really matters to me how they are, what they are doing, and what their opinions are about various subjects. There are people who were originally random Scrabble opponents, who are now Facebook friends, and I feel as if I really know them. If I lost contact with them I would be really sad.

My children all live a long way from me. Skype has been wonderful for keeping in contact with them. Day to day contact with my smallest Grandchildren means I don’t miss out so much on their development, and it isn’t such a shock to see how much they’ve grown when we do see them. On Christmas Day we were treated to a chat with our Devon family, the children showing us how they looked in the clothes we’d bought them. My Sussex Grandchildren have treated us to random calls just to say hello, and I’ve even had a chat with my eldest son and have seen him in his office at work. How my parents would have loved all that!

So here I am, writing my blog, using my computer, the Internet and Facebook, on one of my several sessions a day sitting at the kitchen table. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a life outside Facebook, I do, it’s just that along with millions of others, modern technology has become absolutely indispensible to me.

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