Folks who know me know this: I am NOT tech savvy in the least! What I do know amounts to being able to turn on my computer, check email, and googling stuff. That’s about it. The fact that I’m even doing this blog is nothing short of miraculous and would be impossible except for my very tech savvy son, Alex. (Thank you, Alex) I come from an era when an electric typewriter was the space age. I had barely mastered email when I was thrown into the world of blackberries, blueberries, and phones way smarter than me! I was in over my head and I only managed to stay afloat by the kindness of friends and sympathetic co-workers. When I worked at the Autism Society of North Carolina it was well known that I may have known plenty about having a kid with autism but that I knew next to nothing about any computer – mine in particular. Thank goodness the folks that work there have big hearts. The Director of IT and his assistant knew me well. I provided them with lots of opportunities to roll their eyes, groan, and sometimes laugh right out loud. I never minded. I was just glad for their expertise and most especially for their patience. Thankfully (for me, at least; regrettably for the IT Department) I wasn’t the only person there who didn’t know beans about a computer. And so the Director of IT, Dave, decided that it would benefit him as much as us for him to give us a training session in Computer 101(aka self-defense). I was very happy to have his undivided attention – especially in a room full of folks who wouldn’t laugh at my lack of computer skills. I was excited. It felt like the first day of school and I could fairly smell the freshly sharpened pencils and new book bags. I was ready to learn all about computers. I sat down in the Conference Room that day with a big smile on my face……UNTIL he began the lesson and absolutely burst my bubble.
Now I don’t know about you but when I heard about The Cloud I was astounded. All of your computer information could be found on The Cloud. Amazing!!! I pictured Sputnik and space stations and Star Trek. I envisioned all kinds of computer whatnots floating around in a huge white cloud – with alphabet letters swirling and dancing but coalescing themselves perfectly into any email or document that I had previously created and hocus pocusing themselves right onto my computer screen just waiting for me to hit “print” or “send”. Pure magic right out of some genius’ hat! I thought it was lovely. Suddenly my hero, Dave, my beloved IT guy, brandished his sword of knowledge and delivered a crashing blow to my completely enchanting perception.
“First of all, there is no cloud,” is what he said.
I was stunned. It was like learning there was no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, and no Tooth Fairy all at the same time. WHAT??? And then I felt like Neo in the Matrix when the little kid blows his mind by telling him “there is no spoon”. My whole world blew up. If you can’t believe in The Cloud, what can you believe in? Certainly not gravity! (Sorry, Sir Isaac).
And then Dave went on to explain that The Cloud was just a big warehouse somewhere. Good Grief!!! Talk about blowing a hole in a mystery! And how utterly unromantic is that??? I was perturbed, disheartened, and shaken. To make matters worse he showed us an actual picture of some such warehouse and it was just an ugly metal and concrete building with not a single remotely glamorous or exotic concept about it. I mean, I get it if they didn’t want it to look like the Taj Mahal but would it have killed anyone to lean toward a design closer to Frank Lloyd Wright? I just couldn’t get over it. I probably didn’t hear anything else Dave, the IT wizard, said for the next twenty minutes, as my head was spinning and my brain was in an uproar. Finally I got myself together and managed to catch up with the class but I was not the same. My sense of magic and mystery had been altered for all time. Oh, well. As with every falling down you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on. And so I did.
To be clear, Dave is still my hero and he always will be for many reasons -some of which aren’t even related to computers. Even so, I have decided not to believe him about that cloud thing. It’s just too boring. Sorry, Dave. I choose to believe in romance, enchantment, and The Cloud. Definitely. It’s swirling out there somewhere in space. I just know it.