Technology is a wonderful thing, allowing us access to people, places, and information we never would have been able to reach before the age of the internet. It can also be one of the biggest headaches known to man.
The modem in our computer died Wednesday evening, leaving me wondering how I was going to get any work done. I spend a lot of time online in the course of writing and submitting. Our computer was sadly obsolete (the poor thing had Windows ME), so replacing it made more sense than trying to help it limp along a little longer. We bought a new computer yesterday evening, one with Windows Vista. Talk about technology culture shock! I’m so used to being able to figure things out quickly, since I commonly use Windows 98, ME, and 2000, which are all similar. Vista is completely different. I’m still trying to get it figured out, though I’m getting over the shock now and discovering some nifty features of Vista, including one of the most awesome screensavers I’ve ever seen.
This experience got me thinking. If I’m this intimidated by a new operating system, how must an immigrant feel coming to a new country? Or a person going from a tiny backwoods community where no one has a cell phone to a big city? I’ve written a couple of novels dealing with culture shock, because the way people adapt fascinates me. I know that getting a new computer can’t really compare to living in an unfamiliar society, but it did get me thinking. And thinking is always a good think when you’re a writer.