IT has Happened ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 348


Sitting over breakfast this morning, my brain went into ‘wordy’ mode ~ all sparked by thoughts of a van I saw the other day with the words You Surf and We Deliver. 

Back in 1973, a rather progressive scheme was introduced in our school. Sixth year pupils were paired with teachers to do a bit of work with the ‘kids’ in First Year.  My most vivid memory of all this was being ‘told’ by the teacher to prepare a presentation to give to the youngsters on How the World will be in Fifty Years Time.‘I ended up finding a piece in The Reader’s Digest that pointed to possible developments in relation to technology and gave a lip-wobbling talk about how robots and computers would make the world unrecognisable. The fact that I was a big Dr.Who fan influenced some of my more crazy predictions that day.

Dr Who 1970s Image:
Dr Who 1970s

Computers in College needed whole rooms to themselves ~ big yokes like industrial fridges and printers that spewed out miles of incomprehensible code that you’d collect a few days after you’d pressed Print or whatever it was called then.

In 1990, I was catapulted out of my comfort zone and asked to lead a course on Social Aspects of Information Technology. Really, I hadn’t moved very far from Dr Who and the readings had elements of fantasy land about them.

This morning, so many familiar and double-edged words came floating by ~ tablets, not the kind you swallow; pins, a million miles away from the dress-maker who fascinated me by the way she could talk with a moutful of pins when she was fixing the hem of my box-pleated grey flannel school uniform; wallsno, not the lovely stone walls of places like Co. Clare or the walls that served as my tennis practice partners for so many years; Yahoo, anything but the galute, eejit, gombeen that my father meant when he’d laugh and say: What kind of a big yahoo have I reared?


But, nothing, just nothing has surprised me more in 2013 than the fact that hubby moved in the space  of 6 months from being a guy who had huge issues with hole in the wall cash machines to being addicted to his Smart Phone. This is a revolution to beat all revolutions and one that no one, just no one, could ever have predicted.

I wonder will I be needing to share these words, that make me chuckle,  with him sooner rather than later?

No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer’. (Danielle Berry)


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

6 thoughts on “IT has Happened ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 348”

  1. “IT” happened in 1973, I’m sure of it. Just a lot of us didn’t know what it was. None of us then said we wanted to grow up to work in it. A friend of mine left graduate school in art, and spent a career in it. Today, our electronic register machines running in parallel would become confusing if it were not for those in it. But where do they come from? In my school days, no one seemed to be majoring in it, or even working on it. A former theology student took a job with it to sustain his living. The more he learned about it, the less phenomenal it became to him. At first, he thought the difference between us and it was that it had no secret magic once you understood how the information was processed. After a while, he said it was not so much of a difference as it was what we had in common with it. While some wanted to get on with the program, others found their niche in it. But the majority of people don’t even know what it is.

    1. Van, I just wonder about the ‘majority’ bit, especially in places like the US and Ireland. I agree that there is a huge divide between the IT have’s and have nots and that there is a very unfortunate assumption amongst the ‘haves’ that everyone is in their boat.

  2. I can relate to the smart phone conversion; I hated cell phones ’til I got my iPhone. I think, for me anyway, it’s the intuitiveness of them. I still don’t like the other ones. As to computers, I love TheVanBrown’s reply. One of my sisters got into IT back when it was all punch-cards. I was given a Commodore 64 and it was too slow for word-processing, but I played ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on it quite a lot. Then I discovered desktop publishing . . . now it’s blogging and playing Blitz on Facebook to tone down stress or to shut off my over-talkative brain for a while. 😉

    My 90-plus Mum got into computers in her late 70s; in her mid-80s spent an hour or so each day backing up data (by remote dial-in) for a huge multi-national company in the States. She does all her baniking online, pays her bills and emails a sister in another province.

    I often say “My inner geek is a Luddite!”, as I still prefer the world I lived in when very young (and for some years as a young adult), with no power, no running water, wood for heat and cooking, etc. For now I live in a city but I’d love to have a wee cottage with no mod cons (and an even smaller one with all the techie stuff and a place to charge the smartphone). Aren’t we all a bouquet of contradictions . . .

    I love your final quote, Jean. It’s a good thing to remember.

    1. Linne, I just love the idea of us all being ‘a bouquet of contradictions.’ And even more, I love hearing about your 90-pus mother’s computer skills.
      Yeah, that quote took my fancy alright!

  3. You are the voice of a generation, Jean! I love the way you look at life and remark on what you’ve observed – keep thinking and keep blogging! Happy holidays from the desert where it rained last night. 🙂

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