I vividly remember sensing change was about to happen when I was pregnant with my first child Sophie over eighteen years ago. Little did I know that enrolling on a course called ‘Computing for the terrified’ would change everything about my life as I embraced new technology. Sat at the table next to me was a much older woman called ‘Gloria’, with the most incredible red talons who hovered them above the keyboard as our helpful tutor John gently guided us through the first steps of becoming acquainted with our computers (PC’s). And then she uttered those famous words – “If I pressed this button what will happen?” As if…
I don’t actually know what ever became of ‘Gloria’ but I for one am so glad I took the step to get acquainted with the world wide web. Of course I did other courses and put into practice what I had learned on the course. Now, I can’t really imagine my life without a computer and the access it has given me to the information highway. My daughter is now studying Graphic design at Uni and my two boys ages eight and five are also used to using a mouse and bookmarking helpful websites and regularly use our computer to watch the latest Lego adventures on You Tube – under my watchful eye of course. There’s no magic button that will completely erase your work you just need to save and surf carefully.
Since then I’ve often thought of her words and sometimes have felt frustrated with my own parents for not understanding technology – my mother has a mobile phone but never uses it and they have a computer but aren’t really interested in using it much. As a mumpreneur, the difference it’s made to me have been incredible, because so much of what we do now in our work and lives is linked to the way we communicate with one another whether it’s through texting, emailing or using sites such as facebook or twitter – we’re all sending information to one another in bite sized formats. I find social media really useful for marketing and networking.
And yet there’s a sadness in my heart that perhaps it seems to dominate our worlds too much. Recently my Dad and I were sitting in a room full of teenagers texting their friends and we were just wanting to engage in conversation with them and it made me realize that perhaps my parents are right in avoiding their computer because for them the change means that things will never be the same again. The Art of conversation must be kept alive at all costs so we can face to face embrace each other and laugh together.