Friday, August 23, 2013

The Computer World

I am most fortunate, due to age, in having come late to the world of iPhones, computers, iPads and all the rest.
            I see young children who are far more savvy than I am when dealing with the internet, their computer games and the magic that appears on the screens of these marvels of electronics.
            And I also see the time-consuming worries, cost, and struggles that people have in keeping up with the times – being engulfed in the mighty forces of consumerism.
            I appreciate that the world now revolves around these modern masterpieces - gadgets that almost think for you, but often in their own language.
            After much cajoling, I managed to convince Margreet that with wonderful public transport at the door, to own a car was unnecessary.
            There have appeared a few inconveniences in being without one, all of them surmountable, and at little cost. The relief, the pleasure obtained, time saved, and trouble avoided, have all formed an enormous plus to our lives.
            But my rather flippant suggestion that she gives up her various electronic devices has been met with incredulous scorn. Yet hardly a day goes by without some hair-raising computer glitch intruding on our combined lives.
            Even home conversation has diminished since electronic Scrabble can now be played night and day (not by me) with friends and relatives near and far afield.
            I have always believed that simplicity is the key to a happy life.
            People may laugh at this now outdated dictum for happiness, which is derived from an approach to life where my ideas of happiness have been two-fold - not to be ambitious and to have no expectations.
            The result is a life of achievements and delightful surprises, with even the smallest success, seeming to be a wonderful bonus. They are ideas quite out of tune with those of this age.
            As for computers, I concede, partially, to their use in my life, as I write this blog on a floppy disk Windows 95 and hand it to Margreet, who has a gadget on her sophisticated machine that dispatches it into the ether.
            Perhaps I should stop asking her to be the medium between me and the world of mass communication. But what is the point in writing if no one is going to read it?
            Good or bad my words may be (and I don’t really care) but I dearly love to put words on paper.
            And computers, whatever ill I may think of them, do justify their place, and have clearly become quite indispensable to most people, despite a mounting degree of criminal intrusion.
            Hopefully, there is still a place for pen and ink. Isn’t it wonderful to receive a hand written letter nowadays? I write them.
            I would like to shout “Luddites rise up”.
            But we would have no chance of success.
            It’s far, far too late.