Our first family computer was a Macintosh Plus. I brought it home in 1987. I was one of those fortunate Apple employees, and therefore, my kids were lucky, too.
There were always several computers in our house. And so my kids grew up with a computer mouse in one hand and a toy in the other.
I still remember the games they played: Freddi Fish, the Jump Start Series and Kid Pix to name a few. Oh yes, I can’t forget Where in the World is Carmen San Diego – that was a favorite! They spent hours in front of the computer; they were learning and having fun at the same time. (At least that’s how I perceived it.)
It’s ironic for me, that, here I sit, many years later in front of my MacBook Pro writing a blog about how technology is used by different members of my family. It’s hard to even imagine the type of machine I’ll be using to update this blog in ten years…
My entire family ranges in age from 5 to 81 and it’s not uncommon for each family member to have multiple devices. Just looking at my immediate family, for instance, we each have a MacBook and an iPhone, but we also share several other devices like iPads, Microsoft Surface RT and a few old desktop computers.
My grandson has taken over the iPad mini. It started out as his mom’s, but he quickly became the very possessive owner. Now he’s five and has proven to be very comfortable with technology since he was three. On any given road trip, he can be found playing Angry Birds in his car seat as we drive to our destination. We are thankful, too, for technology when we have a 45-minute wait at our favorite restaurant. Gone are the days of bouncing a toddler on your lap or taking them outside to run around while you wait for your table. You can now bring up a video on your smartphone and keep them happy for as long as needed.
And now that my babies are young adults, they’re also playing games at the restaurant, but they have graduated from Freddi Fish to Trivia Crack. We are sitting inches apart and their focus is on the task at hand … winning the immediate challenge. (Here’s a quick technology tidbit if you’re interested – if you Google “Trivia Crack”, you’ll receive about 4,580,000 results in 0.20 seconds! You can gain immediate access to hints, tidbits and answers as well as learn how to play with others on Facebook. If that’s your thing…)
For me personally, I’ve embraced technology not only in my professional/work life, but also at home/personal life as well. I’m happy to use my device and save time in my day. I love to bank online, for instance. I spend a fraction of the time I used to spend writing checks and balancing my checking account. It’s hard for me to believe that several members of my family actually pay their bills in person. They will write the check, drive to the store, and pay at the counter! But some advances aren’t for everyone, I suppose.
There are so many opportunities and such a wealth of knowledge available on the wonderful World Wide Web. Another example of how technology’s hold on my life has pushed away old habits: I love to buy recipe books but rarely open them anymore. It’s just so much easier and more fun to search Pinterest for that favorite, tried and true recipe that has been pinned by friends and friend of friends.
My mom, who went back to work at the age of 67, was a testament to technology for the mature adult. She went from typing on a manual typewriter at her previous job to sending emails in Microsoft Outlook at her new one. In her role, she had to utilize the internet as a resource. As she aged, and driving became more of a challenge, my determined mom used the computer in her bedroom at home to do what she liked to do best …play casino games, her favorites were slots.
Technology has given us so much. From entertainment to resourcefulness, it opens doors and creates opportunities that didn’t exist before.
As I said earlier, I feel so fortunate to have been in the middle of the IT revolution. It has been an amazing ride so far, and I am excited for what is yet to come! No matter my age, I plan to always embrace the changes that technology presents to me and my family.