I’ve been involved in technology long enough to have missed punch cards by the skin-of-my-teeth. Throughout my career in Information Technologies, I’ve worked in various engineering, administrative and training positions. Computers were how I made my living; they were not my life. I did not own a computer until 1997.
Initially, the primary use for my personal computer was e-mail. It became a required tool when I returned to school, and later when I designed and launched a website to market and sell a product I’d engineered. Eventually my computer provided a platform, via blogs, participating in various forums, and photo galleries, from which to share my interests and thoughts.
A few years ago my wife and I decided to travel to Scotland, an interest of mine since childhood. Easy computer access was central to researching where to visit, events to attend, and places to stay. Two more trips have been made (one by myself around Hogmanay 2009) and again the net made research and planning much easier, from locating places to stay (including the home of a missionary and his wife on one trip, and a Pastor and wife on another), a church that holds services in Scots Gaelic, and accessing census information about my ancestors. We have made many friends during our visits with whom we remain in contact via email, Facebook ™ , and hand-written notes and cards.
Probably the most unexpected, but memorable, technology dependent experience I’ve had took place while standing at the Newton Train Station, outside of Glasgow, late December 2009. As I chatted with a person I’d met there before, a voice from behind asked, “So, how was the Cullen Skink?” Surprised, I turned to respond to the only other person present. “How did you know I had Cullen Skink?” The stranger said he’d overheard our conversation, taken out his phone and googled for key words that I’d used; Google™ returned a link to my blog entry detailing the bowl of fish stew I’d had for supper in Edinburgh. “The Cullen Skink was delicious,” I said. James is now a follower of my blog, and a (Facebook ™ ) friend.
Perhaps the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line but “the net”?