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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)

TITLE: Window on my World
By Kate Oliver Webb


Computers came into my life in the early 1980s with a clunky old (new actually) word processor that I used for correspondence, doing the church bulletin, and so on. It certainly beat white-out and mimeograph machines (not to mention the purple “ditto” machines which made you a bit high from smelling the fluid).

Then I got a job which required that I get acquainted—quick and dirty, they called it—with one of the earliest PCs. It was definitely on-the-job training, and I was the trainer and student.

Fortunately, I picked it up quickly, probably because I was delighted with the technology. It simply made work easier.

Then when one of our church members bought himself a new PC, we got his old one (yet another clunky machine), but it was a step up from the one I had been using at work. So our little family became quite acquainted with what the PC could offer: word processing, accounting, data files, and lots of stuff we hadn’t quite learned yet—but we knew it was there for us.

When the Internet showed up on our newest PC, were we thrilled! We got on the Internet super-highway, put the pedal to the metal, and never looked back.

When I became disabled some years later and had to go on medical retirement, I was thrilled to be able to be on my PC even more. As with any technology, of course, it can be used for good—or not. Fortunately for me, I became aware of news sites, searches to learn more and more about the world I live in, and learned important facts about my own physical disability and medical conditions.

I learned to love emailing; it kept me in touch with friends and family in a way that “snail mail” never could match. I used emails and instant messaging to stay close to important people in my life.

Then came “social networking.” Since becoming—carefully—involved in that, I have been able to re-establish friendships with people I knew (and haven’t been in contact with) for more than 50 years. It has been an incredibly world-widening experience for me, especially since my disability doesn’t permit me many outside adventures.

There are the two friends I’ve been corresponding with, who were in my Sunday School class when we were eight years old. Wow—catching up with them has been fun, and inspiring.

And old friends from my Bible College days, now spread all over the globe, who are part of my life again, bring with them their life experiences which broaden my world even more.

The reverse seems to be true as well: I’m told that my life’s journey has blessed and inspired these old (renewed) friends, and that our mutual friendship has proved to be a blessing to them, too.

My communication via technology has enriched and enlarged my world. It benefits me in ways I still can’t begin to know, and I am grateful for it.

I count this as one of those gifts which God “richly provides us…for our enjoyment.” (I Timothy 6:17 – NIV)

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This article has been read 414 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst11/11/10
Thank you for sharing your story of how technology came into your life and has enhanced it. And how you've now used it to enhance others. Nicely written.
Connie Dixon11/12/10
This is "blast from the past" reminder to many of us "over 50's" who learned to use a computer later in life. I enjoyed the history lesson. You've described how technology can be used in a really good way.
Beth LaBuff 11/12/10
You brought back many memories with the old mimeograph machines, and the ditto machines (I remember the smell!) I like the way you reflected on the postivie communication aspects available now. I enjoyed my peek into your "Window on my World."
Henry Clemmons11/13/10
I ejoyed this. Brought back good memories and just how fast this technology has grown. It also ministers! Great work.
Caitlyn Meissner11/13/10
Since I missed the early years of computers, this was fun to read. I enjoyed your very positive article, and hearing about all the benefits computers have had for you and others. Thank you! :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/13/10
Almost, it was like I'd written this...I'd certainly lived it. I began with an old Apple2E? my brother gave me, then bought a new computer years later that the salesperson told me would be the last one I'd ever need. Ha! I was with you here each step of the way--including reconnecting with friends from my Christian college. Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed the read.
Philippa Geaney 11/13/10
Wonderful read. I somehow felt the joy you experienced in connecting with loved ones and in reconnecting with old friends. A very positive spin on Cyber communication.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/14/10
It is amazing how the world can be owned up by the Internet. This site was an answer to my prayers. I'm delighted the stories I've read and the friends I've made. Your story reminded me to give thanks again for this machine that at times is wonderful and at other tomes a huge pain! Thanks for sharing your story.
Susan Montaperto11/15/10
Thank you for sharing your memories of all those machines,computer and otherwise! It is indeed wonderful to read how you have been blessed via the internet and email.
Rachel Phelps11/16/10
Fun to hear from others how their interaction with technology has changed.
Melanie Kerr 11/17/10
Certainly a trip down memory lane. The "ditto" machines, we called "banda machines". I well remember the smell!