Deb: The other day I was on Facebook and my “chat” popped up. On the other end of the chat, was a dear friend who was in Berlin doing a show. We chatted away back and forth for about a half hour. It was absolutely delightful! As I was waiting for her response, the computer informing me, Naomi is typing, I thought, Wow, look at us chatting away in real time across the planet! I told her this and she said, “That is exactly what I was thinking”. She said that the day before she had “chatted” with a friend as she travelled across Germany in a train. Later I got a FB message from her saying it felt like we had spent the morning having coffee together. The whole thing left me giddy. Couldn’t get over it really. The rest of the day I was wide-eyed and gawky, like the computer had been invented five minutes ago!
I hate when I take my modern inventions for granted. But happily, every so often—WOWZER! I am blown away. At least once a month I am standing at my bank machine, or sending an email, or pausing a live show on TV and I have to stop and marvel. And I giggle because sometimes I just can’t believe my eyes. I think back to the days of frantically trying to get to the bank by 3pm on a Friday so as to have money for the weekend. And if you didn’t make it, you were screwed. No weekend fun for you. Imagine!!!
I guess I am awed by it because it is awesome!
I think of my grandparents and the changes they saw! Can you fathom a lifetime of these wows: the CAR, the RADIO, and the TELEVISION? Ironically though, as witnessed by the popular expression, it is the invention of sliced bread that left the biggest impression! :-)
In my own lifetime I have been wowed by everything from colour television to the moon landing to Skype. I have always celebrated the advances in technology and continue to be awed by the speed with which it is growing and changing.
I know we rail on about how technology is stealing our lives, but that is a whole other subject. That is about balance in our lives and that balance remains up to us as individuals.
What I am awestruck about too is the sheer convenience of it. Our lives are so darned easy because of technology. I think one of the reasons it continues to astound me is that I simply don’t believe it’s possible. Any of it! Can’t fathom it. Don’t get it. Don’t understand how the technology works or, indeed, why it works. If I open my MacBook I am sure to find hard working fairies inside, working their wings off. From the seat of my grasp on the inner workings of technical matters, it might as well be. And if it is ... thank you, fairies! Bless your little hearts.
But whatever the reason, be it fairies, or “hard words to pronounce”, technology is a gift. It is there for the taking. Look how lucky we are! We complain about Facebook Timeline like it is ruining our perfectly ordered lives. “FB timeline has broken my spirit”. Really? That’s all we got?
Today Barb and I started our Sunday morning on Skype with the lovely Shalaka. We sat and chatted, the three of us and our dogs. All the while I kept thinking, We are in Toronto in the morning and she is in Mumbai at night! Couldn’t get over it. Wanted to run out and tell someone, anyone.
The idea behind our first Skype with Shalaka is that she wanted to be “with us” when she unveiled the gorgeous portraits she did of us and our handsome husbands. It was stellar. We got to hear each other’s voices and see each other smile and laugh, and it was awesome both emotionally and technically.
So in honour of that, as the earth is awakening in April, so too will be my awakening and appreciation of mankind’s inventions. While Mother Nature offers her chirping birds and tuliping tulips, I shall add to my annual awe by giving it up to my iPhone, that splendid device that just took a picture in Canada, which my friend in England is already viewing.
There should be an “App App”—an “Appreciation App” for all the brilliant geeks around the world who have made and continue to make our lives awesome.
This stuff takes my breath away. As it should.
Please stay tuned on Tuesday, same blog time, same blog station, as we reveal Shalaka’s stunning, loving portraits!!!
If you want to laugh till you cry please take time to enjoy this old chestnut from the genius of Louis CK. A man after my own heart! (We couldn’t embed the video, but it is so worth watching by simply clicking on the link.)
Barbara: I have to say, I agree with you completely, Deb. Sure, I believe people who tell me that technology is bad for me and that it’s a slippery slope and that we will somehow all be ruined by our rampant tech “addictions”. I believe these people … in theory. Because in my heart and in my life experiences, technology has offered me the complete opposite. Yes, there are all the lovely saving graces Deb mentions here like instant cash and such, but I can also feel on a visceral level the difference between my early 30s self—the she who raised young kids very often alone because her husband traveled, the she who often felt disconnected and lonely and unimportant (not always, of course, but often enough), the she who felt like she was losing touch with the world at large on both an emotional and intellectual level—and my present day self. Today—while I can certainly feel lonely sometimes, or alone, or disconnected—I feel like you are all here at the touch of a key-button, at the scroll of a cursor, at the launch of a browser. And we can talk and examine and discuss and soothe and support and laugh and cry. And if one of you isn’t available at any given moment, another of you is! It is miraculous. And I feel like the more we use these new innovations, the more we will adapt to them, not falling apart or shriveling up like “they” warn, but expanding and swelling and gaining more and more and ever more. But then again, I am an optimist : ). And those computer fairies? Yeah, they rock. As do the tiny little people inside our TVs and radios.