It is more than 20 years since my first online chat and I am still anxious about each new development but far more open to being given help out of my comfort zone and enjoy this new world of technology.
I am not a technologically comfortable person. I remember hating my first remote control because I could not understand what each button did. I still don’t but am comfortable with not knowing.
In 1991, I was dragged with great resistance on my part to the computer for my first online chat. It was on Compuserve in the science fiction forum. I did not think I would like it. I was shy. I felt very anxious. I only gave in because I was given very little choice. It was FUN. I made friends. Some of us met at conferences and conventions later so we could put real faces with the online persons we had gotten to know.
I became so comfortable on Compuserve that I helped as a low level sysop in the Horses forum, walking new people through the use of the forum, answering their questions. I could help because it had not come easily and I knew how to break it down into very easy steps. I was glad to help others over-come their anxiety.
Next Leap, I moved from the safety of the small community of Compuserve to the huge open expanse of the internet. It felt large and exposed. It was a lot of dark screens and basic text files. I was not comfortable, but bit by bit I became skilled at traveling cyberspace and finding the forums and pages that I needed. Technology kept on improving and soon the pages were filled with color and pictures and became MUCH friendlier.
Web Pages! Eventually I took classes on building a web page and did my own web page and one for our local Kennel Club. It was very basic but did the job. I did not get comfortable with HTML but it was a good exercise to do those pages.
The cell phone was another bit of technology that I didn’t like at first. First, I did not want a phone that I carried with me all the time. Then, OK, but JUST a phone, none of those other things people were doing with phones, like texting. MY phone was JUST a phone. Eventually, I caved to the inevitable and now have a phone with a touch screen that can send and receive texts, but I am so far resisting checking email with it.
E-readers were something I did not want because I love books. Now I own a basic kindle and enjoy it. I even recommend owning one! I am however at the stage where I am saying things like, “but I don’t want one in color and I don’t want to surf the web or get email from my e-reader!” Except, the ipad looks like it MIGHT be fun so who knows?
Facebook: I wasn’t going to do any of those social networking sites. But my adult children didn’t call home much and when I got Facebook, I not only started getting more updates from my children but discovered a lot of old friends on there. Facebook is fun.
Next came my blog. I like reading blogs. I like commenting on blogs. I like writing. The blog made sense and I got books on how to use WordPress and asked friends who understand computer stuff to help me and now I have this nice blog.
Pinterest came along and I didn’t want a pin page. Now I have a pin page and it is kinda fun and another way to share what I enjoy with my friends.
I don’t twitter yet. I might like it if I try it. I am anxious about it. Soon I will ask someone who twitters to sit down with me and teach me how it works.
You know, it might turn out to be fun.
Thank You Lord for technology and the interesting opportunities it brings to create community and to reach out and share the Catholic Faith. Amen.