Monday, January 12, 2015

[In the Words of Kip Dynamite... "I Still Love Technology"]


I know the "thing" to do these days is to bash technology, and while I do find myself rolling my eyes when I'm the only one in the room not buried in my smartphone with earbuds in my ears, I can't find quite as much fault with it when I consider a few things. This evening, while eating dinner, I watched an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos from 11 years ago--half the time between now and when my mom passed away in 1993. I was kind of blown away how much further along in technological advances we were in 2004 from 1993, and then again how much further along we are now since 2004. 

I have to wonder what she would've thought about all of this if she were still here, especially if she were still a quadriplegic. I have a copy of her journal from around 1991, and she talks about how she feels so bad that she's going to have to drop her psychology course she's taking remotely because she's tired from the medications she's on and from working around her limited ability to use her hands. How much easier on her would it be today? We have tablets (iPads, etc.) that do not require using a pen or having precise hand-eye coordination like typing; we have voice recognition with programs like Dragon... she'd be able to write a paper without having to hold a pen or have perfect typing form. And she also talks in a tape-letter she recorded for someone but never mailed that she hated having to write letters--how much easier would it be for her to type (slowly, but legibly) or use Skype to catch up with her friends from high school? She talked about how lonely she was, with it being hard to keep in touch with childhood friends. Well, most of them are on Facebook now and many are even on my friends list. It's not as good as getting to hang out, but she'd be connected.

I know it can be a pain sometimes, and it can sometimes create social barriers, but think what a blessing this new technology is for so many people with various physical limitations. Even for me--I can work from home (for not much money, granted) even when my migraines make it difficult to focus and my hearing can make it difficult to talk to some who are soft-spoken in the classroom. 

I'd love to see how technology would have made Mom's life easier. She was so limited by her paralysis, but, boy, she came to life when she got that motorized wheelchair! That gave her movement she'd not had for years. Imagine what a touchscreen computer could have done for her, even when she was just barely able to move her arms and not much of her fingers--a simple tap instead of having to control her hands enough to write letters or use a rotary phone. 

And think of all the advances we've made with stem cell research over the past 22 years--she could be walking (or at least able to get out of bed into her wheelchair on her own) by now. 

Yeah... I miss her. And I hate cancer and lung diseases, so much. 

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