My first memories of computer use take me back to watching my Mom use AOL to write her emails (she still does 15+ years later). I was not allowed to use the computer for what seemed like the longest time. This all changed when my older brother broke out his new game titled Backyard Baseball. I remember rushing home after school trying to finish my homework before my brother so I could use the computer. Very quickly an addiction ensued.
Fast-forward a couple of years to my discovery of AIM, possibly the single greatest invention during my elementary school tenure. As van Dijk said, “ the speed of bridging large distances in communication is one of the strongest capacities of the new media,”(Pg. 16). Being able to send instant messages to all of my friends and more importantly my grade school crushes at the time was the coolest thing. Which is also mentioned in the article as “interactive media,” which fails to reach face- to face communication. I believe AIM is to blame for this generation’s compulsion with social media; it set the standard for instant communication.
As time continued on, AIM evolved into MySpace, which became Facebook. Now I am not against the use of technology and social media, it does in fact have many benefits and advantages. However I do believe it is slowly outsourcing human interaction. In the article “ What Is New Media?” Lev Manovich talks about modern “interaction,” and that it should not be interpreted literally, because it fails to reach the psychological connection face-to- face interaction has.
In just fifteen years time it is pretty crazy to think my use of a computer has transformed from a simple video game into social media and much more. As for now, remembering how I got my start on computers and how far we have both evolved is a pretty crazy thought. Social media and the internet have definitely shaped my generation.
Written by: Colin McCall