For someone who had a serious phobia with technology, I’ll admit I’ve come a long way. Two years ago I used to check my email once or twice a week. I didn’t know how to surf the net. I didn’t know what Google was, and was too embarrassed to ask people what they meant when they said, “I Googled it”. I didn’t know what a blog was, or why someone would want one. I learned about Facebook when Betty White hosted SNL. She revealed that she finally learned what Facebook was, and concluded it was a “huge waste of time”. She delivered that little pearl of wisdom while she worked her dimples for the camera. That was good enough for me.
Then slowly, things began to change. Against my better judgement I got a web site. I started checking my email every other day. Then every day. Eventually several times a day. I got a new computer, even though I was sure I didn’t need one. I got a blog, even though I was sure I didn’t want one. I got on Facebook, even though I was sure I didn’t know how to use it. My new computer was tucked away downstairs at a small work station I had set up for myself. Suddenly I noticed I was running downstairs several times a day. Sheesh. When did that happen?
Somehow my computer made it’s way upstairs to my dining room table. It made good sense to put it there because my husband was out of town and the dogs didn’t like it when I would disappear downstairs. Funny, my computer stayed in the dining room even after my husband came home. After all, he’d be leaving town again soon, and it was easier to leave my computer there instead of transporting it up and down the spiral staircase. Apparently I was getting over my techno-phobia, because several times a day I would make notes on my blog, check my stats, check my email, and see what my Facebook friends were up to. I even got on to LinkedIn and Google Plus.
But, it wasn’t as though I was developing a dependency on my computer. I was simply getting used to using it and marvelling at it’s modern day miracles. I was on a roll. And then the unthinkable happened. I had a problem with my computer. After many frustrating attempts to correct the problem, I finally had to admit that I needed professional help. I had to surrender my computer to a perfect stranger who would be peering into the deep secrets of it’s neural network. With growing apprehension and mounting anxiety, I left my computer at the shop, and was reassured I would have it that same day, or the next morning at the latest.
Well, the problem was more complicated than initially thought. I was without my computer for two days. I tried to stay calm and be cavalier about being disconnected, but every time I walked through my dining room, the empty spot on my dining room table seemed to mock me. I started to experience off-line anxiety. What if a client was trying to email me? What if I needed to update my blog? Or change my settings? I missed Facebook; what were my friends up to? Somehow I had made the transition from techno-anxiety to no-tech anxiety. The change was slow and insidious, but finally I had entered the twenty first century. Oh, I entered it screaming, kicking and fighting the entire time, but enter it I did.
Since I have finally developed some level of skill with a computer, I guess it’s time for me to upgrade my cell phone. I’m just not sure I can make that leap to a higher level of technology just yet. I mean, a phone that takes pictures? And videos? A phone that I can use to access my email and my Facebook account? Hmmm, maybe I am ready for a new phone. I guess you never know what you can learn until you try. And that’s the story about how a techno-phobe turned into a computer nerd. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP