Coping With Computers

CIS 101
DECEMBER 20, 1996

While the twentieth century has proven to be a technological revolution,
there has not been a single development with as much impact on our day to day
lives than that of the computer. For many, the development of the modern
computer has provided more widespread business opportunities, greater production
efficiency, and greater convenience at both work and home than any other
innovation has provided us with.
Many of the degrees earned today did not exist twenty years ago. Many
of the computer sciences degrees are based on technologies that were not even
developed not so long ago. The resulting situation is a work force that has
been caught with their ‘pants down.\' For many of the senior members of this
workforce, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with newer
college graduates in today\'s computer world. This article deals with the
feelings of one particular person in this position.
Linda Ellerbee, a journalist and author owns a television production
company. She also has her own column in Windows magazine. Her experiences with
modern computer technologies range from the terminals of the 1970\'s all the
through today with the Internet and e-mail.
One of her first experiences with a computer involved sending a message
over the AP news wire. As it turns out, she expressed her candid opinion on
some very sensitive topics at the time, including but not limited to the Vietnam
War. Consequently, the AP was not amused with the message and she was fired.
At the time, this incident was popular enough to make it into Newsweek magazine.
Later on, she moved into television as a reporter, but now owns her own
production company, Lucky Duck Productions. Here, she realized that computers
act as the driving force in a technologically based industry. She also realized
that the younger generations are certainly more comfortable and at home with
personal computers.
While running her production company, she tells of her experience with
her favorite ‘ghost employee.\' In her efforts to find a system administrator,
she was referred to Columbia University\'s Center for Telecommunication Research.
There, she negotiated a salary via e-mail, and whenever a system needs to be set
up the ghost does it over the Internet. Of course, the bill is sent with e-mail
as well. As of yet, she still has never seen the system administrator.
Despite her negative or unusual experiences with the technological
revolution, Ellerbee admits that she does appreciate the technology that she and
her office uses. She says that she has come to peace with technology, and I
would have to say that her adaptation to this new system of operating is very
admirable. Unfortunately, not everybody in Ellerbee\'s position is as adaptive
to this type of change as she was. However, with children working with
computers early in grade school, it will be doubtful if many upcoming
professionals suffer from computer-phobia like so many do today.

Category: Technology