Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Technophobe's view of Technology

I'm old enough to remember not only typewriters but actual manual ones. (Pause to allow for jaw-dropping moment and to wonder if it's safe to let this woman out on her own.) Well, I haven't forgotten where I live yet!

I've always been drawn to reading, and writing, and penned my first tome many years ago using an (electric) typewriter and carbon paper with a pot of correctly fluid to correct the errors. I didn't develop my writing career until many years later and by then word processing ruled the world. How did I ever manage to type up my thoughts that first time without changing stuff and going back over it a million times, like it's so easy to do now? More to the point, how did I manage without the Internet at my fingertips for instant research purposes? Looking back I can't help wondering if I would have got seriously into writing much sooner if those facilities had been available at the time. Still, that's no excuse for being lazy. Lots of other people managed it. Some wrote out their books in longhand. I know of one or two who still do.

Whilst I've embraced modern technology with enthusiasm, I freely admit that I find it totally baffling. I'd go one step further and defy anyone with a full-time writing career to keep up with all the new stuff. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. Neither, in my opinion, is it necessary. I love twitter, feel intimidated by Facebook, haven't even looked at My Space, hijack other people's blogs and have my website professionally maintained. I get by.

But don't ask me what the hell an RSS is. I have this pretty icon on my laptop telling me I'm the proud owner of one. Wish I knew what I was meant to do with it. I think it's supposed to be really simple so what does that say about me? As for cookies...well, that's something you eat, isn't it? And if someone talks about viruses, I assume they're feeling unwell. Is there a doctor in the house? Firewalls? A precaution against your house burning down, obviously.

Still, I'm not entirely clueless and am proud to say that I've got my mind round URL's, (I think!) but even the thought of live link conference thingies brings me out on in a cold sweat.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst technology has made the actual process of writing, researching and communicating so much easier, it's also brought a complete new vocabulary into play and many of us more established citizens find it difficult to keep pace with it. I also can't help wondering if social-networking is a misnomer. Sitting behind a computer all day, 'talking' to people in virtual offices, in train stations, in the bath, or wherever, but never actually coming face to face with them is more anti-social, isn't it?

Before I sign off I have one final confession to make. Promise not to laugh? Okay, here goes. My cell phone is a dinosaur. It has two functions only. To make/receive calls and send/receive texts. But that's still one too many functions for me since I'm proud to say that I've never sent a text message in my entire life. Still, on the up side, the battery in my phone lasts for two weeks!

Wendy Soliman

Wendy Soliman is a British author, now dividing her time between Andorra and the west coast of Florida. She lives with her husband Andre and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree. In spite of her technophobility she is the author of numerous Regency romances published both in the UK and the USA. She's currently forging a career with Carina Press, writing Regencies as well as marine crime mysteries. Her latest Regency, Of Dukes and Deceptions, is available from Carina Press or now.

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