I was talking the other day about how I have been able to work at home two days this week due to my kids being in between school and summer camp, and that really got me thinking about technology. How it has changed and also how it keeps us all connected.
Without horribly dating myself, I remember how cool it was when pagers came out in High School. Hardly anyone had cell phones my junior year, but everyone had a pager. Well, besides me.
I digress, and I did get a sweet bag phone when I was a senior. It was huge, the size of a small duffle bag and it weighed a ton. If I wanted to make a call I had to be in my truck, phone plugged into the cigarette lighter with the antenna stuck to the roof outside. You dialed, hope you got a good connection then hung it back up on the cradle. Yep.
I also remember that when I was in Junior High my mom got to bring her computer home from work for a week! Now, this involved my dad getting the huge Apple monitor out of the trunk of her car as well as the hard drive and setting it all up in the kitchen. It was quite the task back then to connect all the cables and when we finally did, um, it caught on fire. Needless to say working from home was not like it is today.
Fast forward to 2013. Woking at home means bringing my small laptop, cable and mouse and setting it up on my kitchen counter. I connect wirelessly to my home WiFi and then use VPN to get a secure connection into my work system. Email, files, I have it all. No floppy disks to carry around and we have email, instant messages and texts to make it through they day. There is nothing that I do not have access to while being at home, besides my co-workers coming and talking face to face. Granted, if someone really wanted to do that with me I could just facetime them on my iPhone or Mac.
Making a call and connecting to co-workers in China and Europe at the same time means just dialing an instant access number, punching in a code and BOOM – we are all connected.
It is easy and yet so amazing how things have changed since my Mom tried to work from home with that Apple computer many, many years ago. No cell phones, no email, paper files and floppy disks. You wouldn’t even want to make a phone call for work on your home line due to the out of area charges.
It is weird to think that my kids are also growing up not knowing life without technology.
Back in the day if we wanted to record a song to play you had to hit record and play at the exact same time the song came on the radio or your parents had to DRIVE you to the record store to purchase it.
If you wanted to do math or spelling you got out your Little Professor.
If your dad was out of the country on business you waited till he got home to talk to him, it was way too expensive to talk when you woke up and before bed like I do with my kids when I travel.
I am amazed and so thankful how far we have come with technology in my short lifetime. I can only imagine the changes my kids will see in theirs.
For now I am blessed to be able to stay connected at work from my kitchen counter, to be able to facetime my kids and tuck them in at night from Italy and to be able to have my daughter iMessage me wondering when I will be returning from a run. It allows us to be connected in a way that was not possible when I was growing up.
I am also thankful for the quiet time, in moderation of course, as technology entertains the kids so I can get some work done too.