As like the rest of us, in my generation, the practice and use of the internet has been so ingrained and integrated in our lives very early on in our childhood, for me personally, I cannot recall the first time I met the internet. Not even the slightest. I can think of memories like the time I used Amazon to buy a card game expansion pack, or went on to play online games. But I can’t tell you which memory was the first initial one.
My reaction has been the same, even as I got older, I would use the internet to fulfill a certain need – an unexplainable hunger, or just a compulsion I had disguised as merely habit. As a kid, I used it to free my mind from the ugly face of boredom. As a teen, I used it to connect and reach out to others; to escape the fear of loneliness. Even now I still do all of those things, but what I realized was something bigger than just fulfilling a need. A simple, unquenchable desire.
From Gitelman and Pingree, “Part of our experience of digital media is the experience of their novelty”. For some reason, I just don’t think that’s true. Here you have a machine that takes in the ideas, thoughts, and theories of others and encodes them in a way to grant access on a worldwide scale. Digital media as a novelty? Am I supposed to believe that everything on the internet is 100% guaranteed original? And am I supposed to believe that in this day and age, I am required to find and present the same? 100% original? No. Even now, our ideas and thoughts, perceptions even, are all rehashed. Tweaked and modified in accordance to the time and place in order to convince ourselves that each and every one of us is 100% unique. I am original in how I see the world. But that’s not entirely true, and need I stress to the fullest, that is definitely NOT a bad thing.
The way I define new media is simple: all information we’ve come to know and understand is all recycled. The way we get inspired, the way we see and understand, the way we create and even destroy; all derives from a source (or several) that we are familiar with. But with new media, we’re able to build upon them. Make them better, or for worse. Play with and test them. Use them in a different way, and see them in a different light.
Your ideas, thoughts, and perceptions may never be 100% guaranteed original, but how you tweak them, build upon them, or reinvent them makes them 100% yours. Guaranteed.
1) Do you think new media is a novelty, or something else?
2) Describe your “unquenchable” need to be online. What do you spend most of your time doing and why?
Written by: Alexander Lakin