There was a time when I didn’t know how to work a mouse. Yes, now it seems hard to believe, but like everyone in my generation, computers were a strange, intimidating contraption that moved into our world without permission.
I had the state of the art IBM selectric typewriter, carbon paper, white out and a file cabinet. What more did I need? Then came the middle school teacher who told me that if I didn’t get my first born a computer, I would be “hindering” his education. Sure, lay the guilt on a mom who wanted the best for her little ones. So, of course, I put off getting a couch for our living room, and invested in an Apple IIe.
Where to put this huge, strange piece of equipment and how to use it was not my problem. I really had no need to learn how to use it, so I thought. My husband and children learned very quickly how to maneuver the mouse and learn all the programs. At that time DOS 3.3 was the operating system which showed up as a black background with green letters/numbers on the screen. No graphics, no color, no interest from me.
As the years passed, our children became proficient in the computer world, but I still didn’t see any need for me to get involved, until the company I worked for decided to “force” me to learn how to price their products on a computer. My comfort zone was now invaded with threats. If I didn’t go along with their demands I would lose my job, so I gave in. Now, this is hard to believe since I had a computer at home, but I had never tried to use a mouse, so during this “class” I held the mouse and thought I would just move it around the screen. No one told me how sensitive this little guy was so I guess I moved it too quickly and “wildly” so the cursor disappeared. The other person in the class said his wife was really good at finding the cursor, which apparently was common. She wasn’t home so, at that point, it would have been useless to continue the class without a cursor. That made my day, but of course, it was located for the next class.
Times have changed and so have computers. You can hold them in your hand, personalize them with colors and graphics, use them as a phone and a camera , and the list goes on and on. What’s not to like? Well, actually there is a lot not to like. They now run our lives because we let them. They get hacked, gather all our personal information and put it in a cloud and have made most of us dependent on these gadgets.
Does the good out weight the bad? I’ll let you decide.