Now don’t get me wrong…I don’t understand technology…or at least, I only understand a very little bit, around the edges. But I appreciate it so much!
I live in Ketchikan, Alaska, currently, and before moving here I spent two years above the Arctic Circle, in the small town of Kotzebue. My husband and I moved there for what I call our “empty nest” adventure. Well, four years later, the Alaska experience continues. And every day, I’m reminded of how big a role technology plays in my life.
AT&T, the company my cell service is with, had a tower down in this region over the weekend. I kept staring at my iPhone Friday night and Saturday, which was registering “no service” instead of the normal component of full bars. I don’t have long distance service on the land line in the house, so I was literally cut off from family…but oh, wait, I still had internet access, so I was able to email and send messages via facebook that my line was temporarily down…just so no one would think I had fallen off the face of the earth when I was telephonically silent for 24 hours. Rob is out of town, so he wasn’t here to talk to either. Fortunately my service was restored late on Saturday, so I was once again able to be in touch with the world by cell.
Then there is my recent venture into the world of blogging. I decided that I wanted to give this a try, but knew nothing about how to start a blog. I went online and found a couple of books on Amazon that sounded like just what I needed. I ordered, read, launched my site, and voila! I’m a blogger…not a very experienced one, but I’m learning. And a fascinating world it is. You can do the whole thing for free, if you want, and all the really hard work, the coding, is done for you, behind the scenes. Of course, I’m sure if I want to develop a more sophisticated blog or even a web site, I’ll need to learn a lot more. But the current technology makes it possible even for people like me, who don’t know html code from Morse code, to get started.
And I haven’t even begun to sing the praises of the internet in general. I get most of my news online…the benefit being that if a story looks interesting, I can read all I want. Or if the headline looks scary, I don’t have to click on the link. I love controlling what comes to me. And ebooks…who knew it could be enjoyable to read a book online?! I thought I needed the actual book experience, but while I can still appreciate a beautifully illustrated and bound book, I’ve had no difficulty adjusting to reading books online. Yay for Kindle!
And the online services! Let me just say here and now that if you are not taking advantage of online retail ordering, banking, all sorts of accounts management, and social networking, you are missing the biggest time saver and convenience in modern life…better, in my opinion, than microwaves and sliced bread.
So, although I don’t know how it all works, I love that it does. And that brings me back to Alaska. This is a remote state, much of it inaccessible by road. There are many communities that you can only reach by ferry or plane. Alaska is short on roads. But with internet access, cable, cell phones and jet planes, there is little that you can’t get, even in the bush communities. (Well, you can’t get much restaurant variety or a mall experience, but you can order online and at least connect with the outside world.) Talking with long term residents who have spent a lifetime in this state, hearing their stories, I can only imagine what it was like to live here when the main connection was through snail mail or expensive phone calls.
So here’s a thank you to all the brilliant minds who have invented the things I now consider life necessities. My husband says I have a relationship with my phone, and its true…its a lifeline that I would be lost without. But judging from the number of people I see walking around with phones in hand, I’m not alone…I have a lot of company.