My early memories of ever using a computer are from when I was in middle school. I remember one day a couple of students and I got called to partake in this engaged learning program that they had. It involved us logging into a computer and playing games that would help us with our mathematics and grammar. I remember that my first time ever being on a computer was truly an amazing one. Ever since then, I would always look forward to going to the program to use the computer and win the games to score points and play the actually non-educational games that the software offered. Soon though, they decided to cut out the program from our school completely and I had no opportunity to go back on a computer since my family did not have one at the time. I went on a hiatus from the computer for some time up until my high school years.
In high school around my sophomore, I got involved with the computer and also for the first time, the internet. Now, I was used to using a computer for games, but the internet was a whole new story. The way I got more involved was actually quite funny, my friend asked me one day if I had a Myspace and I said “What is that?” and he laughed and told me about it and I said that I never had one. He took it upon himself to create one for me and all and one day in school gives me my username and password for it so I can use it and stay connected with others. I never really got the hang of it and so I would log on and mainly just to change the music for my page (literally the only thing I knew I could do!). Soon after, I started to familiarize myself with more of what the internet had to offer. It was fascinating, but I think one of the most memorable moments of mine was when I got to use AIM. This site had allowed me to keep in contact with my friends in such a rapid way (I did not have a cellphone in high school… well, at least not one that could text!).
Using AIM to instant message my friends allowed me to never lose touch. The new media characteristic of Information Track Patterns, specifically conversation, played a key factor for me. I no longer had to use the telephone to communicate with a friend or wait until the next day that we were in school to talk; we could just sign on and send messages to one another! It was a point in which new media had started to become hooked into me; I would log on daily and just chat with friends. Having this instant messenger account also allowed me to venture into the many other social media sites, like Facebook, to stay in contact with even more people and this brings me to right now.
New media is certainly dominating our lives whether it be on mobile devices, our laptops or our tablets; it is everywhere. Before, I could go weeks without checking anything, but now it certainly is harder. Personally, I have thought about disconnecting myself from it all. When I travel to Central America that is what I do since Wi-Fi and connections to servers are a hassle, but it is a struggle since so much revolves around new media.
New media is essential. It helps to improve communication with friends and family, but one must utilize it wisely. Otherwise, it consumes one and then the person-to-person skills end up becoming nonexistent.
By: Sergio D. Valenzuela