Technology–Friend or Foe?

A friend spent the morning on the phone with tech support after her computer crashed today. She backs up her work obsessively but hadn’t done it with her latest chapter. This one had been a killer and she’d rewritten it several times. So she was in a panic. No telling where this helper was when he took over her computer in cyber-space and somehow fixed it. He kept trying to tell her what he was doing. She finally screamed at him to just do it, she didn’t want to understand it, she just wanted her work back. I can relate.

I started writing way back in the last century. Before computers. Yes, I used a, gasp, typewriter. Hey, at least it was electric. I struggled with white-out and eraseable bond. Imagine a 400 page manuscript churned out that way. And revisions? You did them very reluctantly. So much retyping. And I’m not the most accurate typist in the world. Backspace is my friend.

My dad bought me my first computer and made me audit his class. He taught computer technology at the University of Houston. He hadn’t done an introductory class in years but did a special summer session just so I could take it. He regretted it. The yahoos in that class had the attention span of gnats and his baby girl, me, struggled to grasp the intricacies of this new language. What can I say? I’d been an English major. But I did finally figure out that this was a fabulous new way to write my stories. Did I mention how much I loved my daddy? Still miss him.

Anyway, technology has come a long way since that first bulky computer with the long sheets of paper that had holes in the edges and had to be torn apart. Now I have three computers in my house–a desktop that is my home base, a laptop and a netbook. I know, overkill. But I did inherit Daddy’s love of gadgets. With wireless I can write anywhere except the bathtub. I’m not brave enough for that. Of course sometimes evil demons occupy my equipment and create problems. Luckily I have a son who’s computer savvy– obviously this stuff skips a generation–and I can call on him when things go wrong.

Another bit of technology that has changed my life is my cell phone. I have one of those iphones so I can check my email wherever I go. I’ve found that it’s also a long leash. I cannot get totally away from my responsibilities. Do you find that true?Sometimes love it, sometimes hate it .

But the most awesome technological breakthrough in my lifetime is the Internet. I wish my father were alive to enjoy it. It has certainly made research for writers a snap. I can look up names for demons, find out what a street in Austin looks like, even check out a menu at a restaurant before I head out for dinner. Oops, that last one wasn’t writing related, was it?

Anyway, what do you love or hate about technology? Share here. I love to hear from you. I’m just glad I made it through this blog without accidentally deleting it. Peace out.



6 Responses to “Technology–Friend or Foe?”

  1. Carol Peters Says:

    I personally love how fast we can communicate various things. For example, the internet has allowed hospitals to link patient’s medical charts all to one network so that more than one person can access it at a time, and communicate needs much quicker than before.

    I also love how we can save space with digital copies of things instead of taking up mountains upon mountains of space.

    We do however, lose the knowledge of how to be self sufficient (free of computers). If we didn’t have electricity or calculators or anything, we’d probably suffer quite a bit and struggle to calculate answers that are readily at our fingertips now.


    • So true, Carol. The communication aspect has definitely saved lives. I love the social network too as an author. I can touch base with so many readers. And I get fan mail almost daily. What a rush! Yes, it’s made us very dependent, hasn’t it? I freak when I leave my cell phone at home or my Internet connection goes down. Ridiculous. But driving around town now, in Houston traffic, without my cell makes me feel insecure. And I get to send in my manuscripts and even do edits and galleys all on-line now. That saves a lot of trees, postage and time. So I have to say I’m in love with those advances in technology.


  2. Christy D Says:

    I was right…AWESOME!! I really do love technology. I think when it goes so wrong it is operator error in my case. That darn A.D.D. is a trip to contain sometimes.

    I seriously would not be able to live without my laptop, netbook and crackberry!! It keeps me “in the know.”


  3. Curtis Nickerson Says:

    I love technology. Using it to post while at one of the group meetings with my wife Brandie. Technology allows us to do things quicker and frees up time. Which makes us more productive, at least most of the time. Lol. Had a great time peaking into the writing world. Wish you well.


    • It’s great to see a husband support his wife’s writing the way you do. I hope you didn’t feel picked on there. My late husband did support me and bragged about my books all the time. As for technology, I keep acquiring gadgets and am in love with my netbook. Took it and my kindle on vacation so I guess I’m addicted now.


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