Several weeks ago I was reading a headline. I had to read it several times and did not fully understand what it meant. I have given some thought about how technology has created new words, and in some cases technology has created its own lingo.

The first account of this is with a company that had its founding in 1906 and in 1959 produced its Xerox 914, a xerographic copier. Yes, “Xerox” is in the Merriam Webster dictionary. To copy a document has been replaced by xerox a document.

“Microwave” is another word that is extremely common and had its start in 1950. The first microwave oven was the size of a refrigerator. The microwave concept is using radio waves to heat food. Yes, let me microwave the leftovers or let me make a package of microwave popcorn for a snack. In 1997, nine out of 10 households in the United States owned a microwave oven. We have microwave dishes, special microwave cooking utensils and all kinds of microwave recipes, and usually there are microwave directions for heating or cooking foods.

Probably one of the more recent technological advancements that has had a profound impact on our lives is the personal computer. We want information as quickly as it develops, and we want it fast. The era of modern computing began slightly before and during World War II. The microprocessor was introduced in the early 1960s.

In April 1975, the world’s first complete preassembled personal computer system was presented by Olivetti at the Hannover Fair in Germany. It weighed 88 pounds, had two 8-inch floppy disk drives, a 32-character plasma display, 80-column graphics thermal printer, 48 Kbytes of RAM and Basic Language. In 1977, the Apple II was introduced.

So now we have bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, terrabytes, laptops, all types of software programs that include graphics, word processing and accounting, Chrome books, Ipads, mouse, keyboard, speakers, thumbdrives, control panel, CPU, motherboard, monitor, video games, printers, scanners, etc. The first commercially available video game was Pong, introduced by Atari in 1973. Upon looking up computer technology, I found a site that listed more than 15,000 computer terms.

With the computer came the internet. The internet really had its beginnings approximately 50 years ago when the military and scientists would share information over a linked net of computers.

In 1991 — 29 years ago — a computer programmer in Switzerland by the name of Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web (www). It was an internet that was not simply a way to send files from one place to another but itself a “web” of information. Out of this was born my favorite search word: “Google.” If you don’t know the answer, Google it. However, what you might sometimes find out on the internet is not necessarily the truth.

There is another advancement in technology that you can’t go anywhere without. How will I know where I am going if I don’t have “Google Maps”? I need to be accessible to my friends and family by either a call or texting. How could I find the best restaurant in town and read the reviews? I can take pictures of family and friends without a camera and then send them in a text or email. I will know what is happening around the world with just a tap of an icon.

I am accessible as long as I have a signal. Cell towers mark the horizons. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. In 1947, Bell Labs introduced the idea of a cell phone and a cellular network. In 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper invented the first cell phone and made the first cell phone call.

Motorola in 1984 released the DynaTac8000 cell phone, the first cell phone available on the commercial market. It provided 30 minutes of talk time and cost $3,995.

In 1993, the first short message system text message was sent between two cell phones. In 2002, the Blackberry was introduced and on Sept. 20, 2019, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 ProMax were released by Apple.

We text, we take selfies, we send text messages with emojis. We can search the web, send and receive emails, take pictures of those special moments, make phone calls whenever we want, keep notes, play Candy Crush and even swipe phones to pay for purchases.

Social media is alive and well. We can communicate via Twitter and Facebook and share with others on their Snapchat, Instagram and Linked-in accounts, and if you need a decorating idea, check in with Pinterest.

Our lives move at a very fast pace. Technology is important. Medical science has greatly benefited by it. However, let us remember that it is important to put it away and spend time with each other.

The wife of citizen columnist Tom Sheehy, Michelene Sheehy moved to Florence from Fairfax, Virginia, nine years ago. Married for 48 years, she is the mother of two sons and four grandchildren. She was a high school math teacher, Georgetown University’s budget director, Catholic University’s associate vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer. She is a past president and treasurer of the Florence Symphony Guild, past vice president of the Wildwood Garden Club and a past member of the Florence Symphony Orchestra board. She loves gardening, arts, crafts and floral designing.

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