“JumpStart” Into the Internet

Growing up with a dad who was a computer software engineer, I was given my shiny new screen when I was nothing more than 5 years old. My parents presented me with each “JumpStart” game beginning in Pre-K all the way until 6th grade.

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http://www.sonic.net/mnitepub/pccafe/reviews/jskindergarten/jskindergarten.html

Although initially uninterested in the games, I began to play more and more when my younger sister was born. In my eyes, it was something that I could do that she couldn’t and as an older sister it made me feel like I had a special gift.

From there my interest truly peaked with the invention of AIM, a way for my middle school friends and I to talk almost instantly while at home and before we all had our own phones. Looking back I realized this developed into almost an addiction for our generation. We would run home from school and immediately sign on, trying to talk to those that we left not even an hour ago. What was your away message and who were your top friends? These were the things that we cared about when on the internet, not fully using it to the potential that it had.

The first time that I really had my moment of clarity with new media and the impact it has was when I started my own blog. Starting out as nothing more than a way to vent about my problems, I realized that those who were reading it appreciated not only what I was writing but also the bluntness in how I was talking. What started as a fashion blog, resulted in a fast and easy way for me to reach thousands of people in an instant and communicate with them through an ongoing conversation between us.

It became more personalized than that of an essay and in a way it resembled the way that I used to AIM my friends when I was younger.

It’s crazy to think that something so personal as talking to my friends is the way that I now communicate with over 1,000 strangers. Maybe nothing is really “just ours” anymore, and maybe now that’s how it’s always going to be

 

Caitlin Pilgrim

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