Compared to my 2 siblings, I am usually behind the times where technology is concerned. It has always been that way, and I assume it will always remain that way. Bethany and Will are always on the cutting edge.
(Well, except for that short period of time in Junior High when my Aunt Susie – who was the first one in our family to own a PC – taught me how to use her Apple IIe. But Will was quick on my heels and before I knew it, he was writing programs on that computer. And so the race began…)
I remember going home to visit my family after Brad and I were married and seeing Will crush a CD with his bare hands. He was learning to use a CD writer and was ruining disk after disk in the process – back when you could write but not rewrite on the CDs. The process was apparently frustrating because he learned the hard way that inside a CD was a whole lot of splintery glass.
Will has always served as my parents’ primary tech support person and computer provider. Whenever a newer and better machine came on the market, Will would give my parents his machine so he could justify buying himself a new one. And so he would hand his down to my dad, who would eventually hand it down to my mom, and then eventually, the old, useless machine would end up back with Will where he would strip it down and use it as a server or DVR or whatever.
I’m not sure when my parents began using PCs on a regular basis, but one day, Mom called Will because she was trying to use her new mouse and no matter how many times she clicked on the left button, it wouldn’t do what it was supposed to do! She was so frustrated – until it crossed Will’s mind to ask her which way the cord was facing – toward my mom or away from her. It was facing toward my mom, as Will had suspected – which meant my mom was trying to hold the mouse upside down, getting the left and right buttons crossed in the process. You should try it – we’ve always said that it takes real talent to use a mouse upside down!
Once mom became proficient at using the PC, she and dad began emailing each other. We thought this was hilarious, especially since they were about 10 feet away. We always said they could have hollered at each other faster than type and send an email.
Then we got our second computer, and found that sure enough, we were emailing each other rather than just hollering from the other room.
At some point in this technological evolutionary process, we got cell phones. This meant we could now call each other from separate rooms and avoid raising our voices.
Then my friends and family introduced me to text messaging.
It started when my brother came for a visit and sent me a couple of texts from upstairs. I thought it was so cool to get a message that said “What time is dinner?” and avoid having to actually speak to him. Not that I don’t enjoy speaking to my brother – it’s just so much faster to type a text! It’s so handy, in fact, that the first month I added texting, I went over – waaaaayyyy over – the 200 or whatever number I thought I would use. All my friends were horrified that I didn’t have unlimited texting so I quickly upgraded.
Then I learned about the new device my sister and brother both owned – the iPhone.
It was just a few months before they convinced me I needed one. They were right. I don’t think I can overstate how my iPhone has changed my life. Just last weekend, my brother was able to tune my parents’ piano using an application he downloaded to his iPhone. Yes, it’s true – there’s an app for that.
And just when I thought life couldn’t get any better or easier, this week Brad got a Blackberry at work.
Last night, for the first time in our lives, we went to bed early – he was answering work email on his Blackberry and I was playing a game on my iPhone.
Then, it happened. I got an email I thought he should read so I forwarded it to him. Yes, I sent my husband an email from one side of the bed to the other.
But you know what’s worse? He wrote me back.
Now all we need is a way to set up an automatic text message that says “Good night. I love you.” at a predetermined time every evening.
I’m not sure how to do that but I feel pretty confident that there’s an app for that as well.