In 1996, my husband woke me in the middle of the night and asked, “Can we get a computer? They have one on the Home Shopping Network for 30 dollars a month! I didn’t want to buy it without us talking about it but the time is running out!” I sleepily said yes. I mean, I remembered typing papers for graduate school on an Apple 2C, and it was a lot better than the typewriter I had been using since we married. This was a…Dell? If that the one that came in the cow boxes for awhile? I don’t know. But it came, we set it up, and I had fun typing things in Word (or was it Word Perfect) and saving them on my floppy disks, especially poetry and such.
In 1997, he signed us up for something called AOL. He asked me what I wanted my email address to be. I had to ask what email was. I learned about “the internet,” chat rooms….and I was unimpressed. Seemed like a big waste of time to me. Plus, couldn’t I just call people or write letters? I basically stuck to writing poetry and doing lesson plans that I could print.
Then, a few years later, I started working at a place that was somewhat tech-savvy. I saw the beauty of email, the fun of creating web pages, the absolute necessity of a CD burner, and I loved wearing my flash drive around my neck or having it on my keychain so I could take my writing everywhere. I learned to use the big digital camera that held the not quite as floppy disks. I eventually joined facebook and even started a blog.
And today I shared my system with someone halfway across the country while we resolved an issue with audio and video in an interactive presentation that will eventually be uploaded to our business’ website so that people all over the world can view it.
And I thought that midnight conversation in 1996 was silly……