Several years ago, my teenage son brought me a sheet of paper titled: "Why We Need the Internet at Home." My boys both know that if they want to add something to the budget or our schedule, the best way to convince me is to give a pros and cons listing (the ups and downs of having a writer for a parent). He had carefully tallied the positives of having our computer hooked up to the Internet and how it would help with his homework, let us find information faster, etc. etc.
We had a long discussion and finally, somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to a trial period. He and his brother were ecstatic. I was concerned that it would rob them of precious time and hurt their grades. I'm not usually so cautious. My husband and I are gadget people and we'd had a PC for years. But we also limited our boys' TV watching and I wasn't sure how the computer would fit in.
Can you imagine not having the Internet? How did we connect with people? How did we research articles on cold and snowy days, when the roads were too slick to travel or the library was closed? Or it was the dead of night and we just had to find that exact image for the next scene in our book? I'm not too proud to state that I'm glad my son was persistent and we ended up with our Internet connection. And both of them continue to be on the highest honor roll -- due as much to their diligent work as their access to information and people.
This is Monday, though, and today's theme is "Life's Ups and Downs." I love the way we can connect with people all over the world in just a matter of minutes. Therein lies the downside of this topic. A week or so ago, someone sent me an e-mail movie quiz. I usually just delete those e-mails that are jokes or funny comments. Somehow, with the movie one, I accidentally opened it instead of just deleting it. I then thought I deleted it from my life and went on my way.
That wasn't the end of the story, though. I suddenly had odd e-mails being sent to me from people I hadn't heard from in months. They thanked me for thinking of them but they only answered personal e-mails. At first, I didn't know what they were talking about. Then my husband mentioned something about receiving a movie quiz from me. He had deleted it and was surprised I had sent it to him. I checked with a couple other people, had some phone calls and more e-mails and soon learned that the e-mail ended up going to every person on my contact list. Not just friends and family. Colleagues, church connections, volunteer committee members. . . editors! I quickly sent out a MAJOR APOLOGY to everyone in my mailbox.
I think the situation is now resolved, at least on my part. I found an e-mail address for the originator of the quiz, asked them for help and was told that my information and address has now been deleted from their files. The quiz should be gone from my life and I only hope it's as quickly eliminated from those who inadvertently received it from me.
I love my computer! I hate my computer! How about you? What's your relationship with your computer?