Technology came to England in the 18th century in the form of the industrial revolution meaning a rapid change of life. It did not meet the approval of everyone, especially the working class. The Luddlites as they were known went round the country smashing every machine they could get their hands on, but eventually they had to accept the fact that times were changing.
Technology also had a great influence in the culture of the people in the Lifford area in the form of Railways. The first train left Strabane in the late 1800s and travelled to Bundoran and the one from Lifford started in the early 1900s and went to Letterkenny. For the first time the local population were able to travel to places they had only heard about.
There were also steam powered boats which came up the Foyle as far as Lifford and then entered the River Finn and up to Castlefinn with their cargos from the Derry docks.
The motor car was also conceived in the late 1800s or early 1900s, but only the elite were able to afford them until the middle of the present century. It was then that my late father bought one. He bought a Vauxhall 10 belonging to the late Dr. Coyne of Lifford. I still remember the registration number, it was IH 6063. There were so few cars on the roads then, and everyone knew the Doctors car, so when anyone met the car my father got a big wave from people he did not know from Adam!
The motor car surpassed the trains as a means of transport regarding social life, there were no restrictions on being there at a certain time and one might have some distance from the station to ones destination. In time the cars got more plentiful and it was not uncommon to see three or four cars parked outside the average house. There would have been very few ballrooms built in the sixties in Co. Donegal had it not been for the humble car.
Before I finish I have to write a few words on computers, with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, folk are making friends all over the world. I wonder where it is going to end.
All I can say is that there is a distinct relationship between technology and culture. Look at all the seaside towns with all the hotels and places of amusements which sprung up with the advent of the railways coming to their towns. The likes of Bundoran and Buncrana would not be what they are today had it not been for the railways coming to their towns. Regarding the motor car, young people had no means of transport until the availability of the car, they usually did not travel more than five miles from their place of birth, they more than likely took a mate from that small area, usually within walking distance, but now distance is no object. A young chap could travel fifty miles per week to meet with his beloved. Where would we be without technology?