Technology, in particular the internet (or interweb as I call it), has changed my life. It has made me more aware with more information being available at my fingertips, whilst at the same time making me lazier – who actually goes to the supermarket that much anymore?
It has saved me a fortune in taxi fares to mundane but necessary places like banks. A fortune which I’ve been able to redirect into important investments such as shoes, music and DVDs.
The interweb has made it easier for myself, and I’m sure many others, to socialise with others where real world circumstances like physical access issues might make such networking impossible. Access issues such as unreliable and expensive taxis, bad weather, unexpected wheelchair problems such as batteries that randomly run flat, and restaurants with steps at the door. Not that I advocate being a hermit, but due to the interweb, many of these hassles can now be lessened from the comfort of your own home.
In the same way as it may have allowed social networks to grow, the interweb has also given me a greater sense of independence than I might have otherwise have had. I don’t need anyone to go to the bank to check my accounts for me, I can do it myself. Nor grocery shopping – I’ve got it covered.
Facebook has been great for catch-up with those old school friends of mine who now live in New York and London. I also like the ‘ignore’ button for people who weren’t friends back then and remain so now. Why would they think I’d contact them when they used to throw things at my head? The past is the past but a girl still has her pride (and nicer people she wishes to ‘add’).
Twitter is a big tease, good for expressing the day to day little things. Like when you can’t find one sock of a pair, or you are stuck in traffic and it frustrates you. It’s equally handy for one word comments such as “Help!” or “Oh my god!”. Stuff that leaves people guessing about what has occurred in my wonderful (or not so wonderful) day.
I’m also able to be more informed about issues of health and well-being without needing to have conversations with ‘experts’. As long as I know where to look I can find information myself, which means I get to maintain some level of privacy. Any sense of privacy is a cherished thing when you are a person with a disability who needs to depend on the presence of others to achieve the simple things in life.
I see technology as something that adds to my life. For me it’s about freedom – the freedom to be myself and do the things I want to do faster and more easily than I would otherwise be able to do.