Being almost twenty years old, I like to think that I was born right as the internet was in its genesis of widespread consumer usage. Therefore, my earliest memory of using the internet (and probably the computer for that matter) came when I was the tender age of five and my mother let me go on amazon.com to purchase Pokemon Blue Version with a gift card my aunt got me. Keep in mind that, being only five years old, I was not entirely sure what was happening and was possibly more excited about being able to battle my brother’s Pokemon (you know that I won). Still, the ability to have a new game sent to me after a few mouse clicks and key strokes was pretty impressive, even for a kid who could barely tie his own shoes.
This brings up the question of, “why”? “Why was using this aspect of new media so impressive?” One characteristic of new media is that it is ubiquitous. I was able to sit in my mother’s lap in the comfort of our own home and receive the information and means of getting materialistic items without having to put shoes on. If you think about it, back before the beginning of the millennium, it was probably more of a hassle for my mom to take her rambunctious pack of kids rather than me just pointing to what I wanted on a computer screen.
New media also has the characteristic of being pulled. There were no giant flashing ads saying, “buy this here!” or “you definitely want this! It will improve your life!” No, instead the product I wanted was put on the web and I found it, or pulled it, to get what I was looking for. I sought after the information, rather than having someone send it to me.
by Mark Patton