From Fax to Facebook

Written By: Theresa Furzland, Op-Ed Writer

My son and I have recently been having a recurring conversation regarding the benefits and down sides of technology. He is a music/computer science major and I find it interesting how it is a natural inclination for him to combine these two subjects.
He asked me today “What was it like before computers?” I at first thought he was being a Smart A but he was genuinely curious. The inquiry has brought along some interesting conversation and comparisons. The dinner conversation tonight was a debate on having a “Smart” house. The 21 year old of course taking the pro side and my husband the dissenter. I for the most part sat back and enjoyed the show but it made me realize that I actually have a unique perspective on this subject. Main question is Does the technology (computers) we have today actually make us more efficient. Secondary would be what do we lose in trade for the convenience.

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I do remember life during the years B.C.. The first “computer” that I had been when I was 13 or 14 (this would be 1980 ish) My dad, who today would is pushing 90 and is a techie before his time. It was basically a keyboard that you plugged into the TV and after spending a few hours I was able to get it to type my name out on the screen. Boring ... it gathered dust. Next would probably be my senior year, we had 1 terminal in the school library and one of the lessons we had was to be shown how to use the phone plugged into a special receiver and dial into the “main terminal”. We spent one day if I remember correctly listening to dial tones and modems trying to connect. It generally didn’t work and I didn’t think of having or using or even care about a computer for years. I do remember thinking it was cool at my first job because the typewriter was really a word processor and I could actually type the letter on the screen before I printed it. The screen was a typewriter screen mind you and you only saw one line at a time at the most. I liked it because I could finish the typing, then hint print and take a short break.

I’m getting long winded I know, but want to give a few more examples of how I myself “backed into” this “lifestyle” From Fax Machines to Facebook.

I remember when faxes were not acceptable documentation. As they became more common place underwriters would review them but would ALWAYS require the original document before closing. If a paystub was copied, the document was stamped with a “True and Certified Copy” and signed by the employee. Faxes had to be copied immediately upon receiving because they would otherwise fade within a year. The paper came off the machine in a roll and if you got a long fax sometimes it would be lying all over the floor. We called it curly paper fax and all fell in love with the first regular fax machine.

Oh and the joy, as a Closer, to have a typewriter that would store names, addresses, loss payee clauses etc. Then I finally got my first PC. First at work then eventually at home. I am going to say we are now at circa 1991 and the birth of my youngest son.

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As mentioned above, I was a Loan Closer and mainly because no one else wanted to, I was starting to learn how to use the computer. I had an incredibly sharp boss who developed a merge program using Lotus 123. (His spreadsheet was actually the roots of the HUD one we all know and love) I use Excel almost every day now. I own a Smart phone and am on Facebook. I still don’t trust technology and I’m still not convinced it makes our lives “better”. It makes a lot of things easier, that I cannot deny and it has been my friend and ally in my career.

But also….the one example that I came up with in our discussion got me thinking. I said “back in the day” it took on average 45-60 days to close a loan. And today?? Gee, seems it takes 45-60 and if problems, more, to close a loan. Hmmm.
Is it better? Are there less mistakes? Has modern technology saved us time?

About The Author

Theresa Furzland - As an op-ed writer, Theresa Furzland has 25+ years of experience ranging from origination, processing, closing and post closing. She is currently a producing Branch Manager for LendSmart Mortgage, LLC and own and operate Willow Wood Mortgage Services, Inc. 


Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMU® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMU® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMU® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMU®. Nothing contained in this articles should be considered legal advice.