Technophobe or technocrat? That is the question.
Central heating, automatic washing machine, instant communication and entertainment, cars, trains and planes - what would my life be like without these elements of technology? I like my home comforts.
I suppose the radio must have been my first encounter with technology, followed in 1953 by television. 20 years on colour television came along and then the mysteries of videos and DVDs - and yes - I am the stereotype woman, as I haven't a clue how to programme them. For me they brought my favourite art of ballet directly into my home, something that before I could only experience in the theatre itself. As far as the TV goes, things such as high definition and the red button I ignore.
Soundwise it was a big event around 1959 when our family Christmas present was a gramophone/record player, though we could only afford a few records for it and I remember spending my pocket money in Woolworths buying 78's of Oklahoma, Carousel and Gilbert & Sullivan. Technology moved on to those cumbersome decks for recording on tape, to be replaced quickly by what seemed miniscule tape cassettes and then CDs, though I still have some of my favourite long playing records up in the loft. A Walkman proved a godsend for me when I was in hospital for a major operation. What a pleasure and change from reading, crosswords and sudoku to be able to tune into my favourite radio progammes - though there were regular anxious pleas to family "Bring in some batteries"! Pop culture passed me by and I Pods and MP3's are other new mysteries I don't know anything about - and don't see much need to know.
I remember the early days of getting a telephone, although it was on a shared line. Today my mobile is for quick contact with family and not much else. I stick with my basic model and again don't see the need for all those fancy functions. To me a Blackberry remains a delicious fruit - not a bit of up-market technology.
I enjoy browsing the the library shelves for books and I love curling up in bed or on the sofa or even in the bath with a good book. I can't see that an electronic book has nearly the same appeal. However I have moved on this a wee bit, and am quite taken with the latest Amazon TV advert for a Kindle.
At work I progressed from manual typewriter, to an electric one, to word processor and to computer. How on earth did I manage in the "olden days" without spell check? I achieved the status of becoming a home silver surfer around 1999 when getting linked online was my Christmas present - and I haven't looked back since. After all where would my blog - and my life - be without this wonderful piece of technology which has brought me so much pleasure.
Camera wise, I was equally slow coming to grips with a digital model, but now I would not be without it for the enjoyment it has given me in enhancing my blog.
As for social network sites, I am not a fan of Facebook, and have no inclination to ever tweet. But I have found the Geneabloggers network site for family historians a wonderful support and have recently joined Google+.
And where am I now? I admit, particularly since I retired and lost the support of work colleagues, I am getting behind with IT developments. I am regularly impressed when I read about the skills of other bloggers.
So what is high on my next birthday or Christmas list? An I-Pad. My daughter has convinced me I should not be without one!
So yes, perhaps I am a bit of a stick in the mud when it comes to technology - in no way a technophobe, but not exactly a technocrat.
[Adapted from a post written in 2011 in the series 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy]
Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson. All Rights Reserved