Life Before The Computer
Memory was something we lost with age, An application was filled out to get a job,
A program was what we watched on TV, A cursor was someone who used profanity,
A keyboard belonged on a piano, A web belonged to the spider,
A virus was some kind of flu, A CD was a bank account,
A hard drive was a long trip across country, and A mouse pad was home for the mouse who lived in your home.
I remember when we purchased our first computer. I was absolutely overjoyed and terror stricken, all at the same time! It was a giant of a thing, compared to those we have now. But it sat stately on my desk staring back at me with it’s little blinking light on the screen informing me where to begin. Having grown up “back in the day” and learning how to type on a typewriter made this large humming machine more than intimidating!
Now as I look at the small configurations of computers which can do so many functions, I am blown away! I am still intimidated by the extensive operations it can do. My mind can’t seem to wrap around all its capabilities. But that said, I wonder sometimes, if we haven’t gotten a little to comfortable with the machine which most of us spend hours on each day. Even kindergarten children (and sometimes younger) are as comfortable sitting in front of the screen as adults. Many young people use the web as easily as any adult and don’t forget the all important games our youth lose themselves in!
Statistics show a rise from 8.2% in 1984 to 75.6% in 2011of households have a computer in their home! 1 Internet usage has also been steadily on the rise. So what happens to the art of communication if we spend so much time in front of the computer? I suggest the art or even basic ability to communicate with others is threatened. The technological world has nearly every teen glued to their iPhone, iPad, computer or other device which ultimately separates them from one on one communication with other people. There doesn’t seem to be the need. But this infringes on personal interaction. A study done for an honors paper by Cecilia Brown for Connecticut College, shows this to be true. Her statistics indicate 77% of our young people have their own cell phones and 63% of them send text messages every day! 2 Our world is all about sending our thoughts via type written messages through electronic devices rather than face to face interaction.
Our memory has weakened, since computers tend to be more reliable; we give our computers jobs, better known as applications; while TV shows are still going strong but games via the computer have a huge impact on our world. And the web…. Well…. Spiders create massive links to the core of their web, not unlike what we see on the internet!
So I challenge you this week to consider the time you spend on the computer and the world wide web. Who is in control, you or the spider?