One of my much-loved rituals has always been reading the morning newspaper with my mug of coffee at hand. I love the scent of newsprint, and the feel of the paper in my hands. I scan the titles of each article, deciding which I will choose to read, and especially love the commentary section where I can read and ponder differing opinions on issues. I have been forced to cut back to weekend delivery, due to finances, so during the week I now check the online version of the paper. However, I miss the paper issue so much.
I have been slow to accept our technological world. Each tiny step I have taken has been by necessity, seldom by choice. In 1987 I bought my first computer so I could learn word processing and begin a small "secretarial" business from home. How wonderful it was! In the mid-90's my husband started his electrical contracting business, and my accountant persuaded me to computerize my accounting system. I was SO hesitant -- I liked my handwritten journals and registers -- but, after a few days of using Quickbooks, I was hooked. How wonderful to make just one entry of every transaction!
Of course, setting up Email was a necessity for a small business. At first I remember saying to anyone who would listen, "I prefer handwritten messages, or a phone conversation." Now, I can't imagine my world without Email. It is so wonderful to be able to send off a message whenever I have something to say, regardless of time or location.
I have learned to make good use of the Internet -- I love the easy access to information at any hour of the day. Especially in the past year, as we have closed our business and navigated the paths of trimming down costs of healthcare, insurances, utilities, etc. I have found the Internet much more efficient than the legwork that would have been required to change our lives so totally.
And so it has gone -- slowly I have adapted to it all -- digital cameras, cellphones, texting. I love listening to country music on my IPod as I cook. I even created this blog in 2007. However, I was very uncertain about Facebook. Why would anyone want to put such personal information out for the world to see. Now I have found that I love it. I have reconnected with people that I seldom see and find much pleasure in sharing little pieces of our lives. Checking my Facebook page has become a "must" for me each day.
I often ponder whether our quality of life is better because of technology. I was very happy years ago when I communicated through letters and phone calls. I preferred small TV sets that didn't "jump off the wall" to get your attention. I find it rude when I am having conversations with people and they are texting on their IPhones as we talk. I feel the multi-tasking that technology has enabled has created a much higher stress level in our young people. However, I will continue to learn and stay abreast of the latest advances. I will keep a balance, though, and not neglect the natural world and the face-to-face conversations that enhance my quality of life.